Chapter 20: Yours to Keep


I’m a pale blue blimp and it’s hotter than Satan’s ball sac outside. Thankfully, neither Maria nor Alcide is very religious so the ceremony should be a quick one. I feel like there’s a swamp forming in my boots. Cowboy boots in July. Best idea ever… not.

I’m fanning myself with the wedding program when Eric appears. We’re not walking down the aisle together since Maria’s sister is the maid of honor. He’s lucky he doesn’t have to wear a full suit. The blue button down he’s wearing is the same shade of blue as my dress. There’s a yellow daisy tucked into the lapel of his shirt. He looks good. Really good.

“You look like you’re going to melt,” he chuckles when he sees me.

“Next time I get knocked up it’s going to be in the summer so I’ll be big when it’s cold outside,” I say. “And Janice offered me some great advice about Kegel exercises.”

“Doesn’t matter since you’re probably having a C-section. Also, I promise to work on my timing. I’ll also only marry you in fall or spring,” he winks.

“Who says I want to marry you?” I smirk.

“Who else is going to marry your difficult butt?” he teases.

“Mmm… Maybe Mongo?” The imaginary stripper that Alcide was jealous of for nothing.

“That should be interesting.”

“If I marry a guy with a schlong that big I’m going to need more than Kegels to keep me tight,” I snort.

I need an industrial strength fan. This flimsy paper isn’t doing anything to keep me cool. I can feel my makeup starting to run. Maria already got some of her pictures done so I won’t look like a streaky freak in all of them.

“Or you could just keep coming back to me for the sex,” he winks.

“He’d break my vagina,” I say seriously.

“Then stay away from fictional men and stick with me,” he says as he reaches out to wipe some smudged mascara.

“This is fuckin’ ridiculous,” I grumble. “I’m this close to getting on the refrigerated truck and not giving a fuck if she gets pissed.”

“I can cover you,” Eric offers. “I don’t know why the hell she chose outside. I’m sure it makes pretty pictures but everyone is miserable.”

“At least the barn is air conditioned. If it wasn’t I’d be leaving after the ceremony.” Last time I checked my phone it said it was 97 outside and felt like 103. Maria’s out of her cotton picking mind. If she doesn’t collapse at the makeshift altar out under the shade trees I’ll be amazed.

“I agree. You know I don’t like long sleeves as it is,” he chuckles. He has the sleeves of his shirt rolled up. “Maria threatened to castrate me for folding these up, but I told her she’d have to deal with you if she did that.”

“I’d cuntpunt her into the pond,” I say seriously.

Eric snorts as he leans over to give me a quick peck.

“Do you think we’ll get married one day?” he asks when he pulls back. He takes my free hand to play with my fingers.

“Maybe. Then I can stop wearing pumps and shaving, and start wearing sweats,” I grin.

“I figured we were already at that stage and you just didn’t mind shaving your legs,” Eric laughs. “You know I don’t care about all that. You’re still gorgeous when you’re hairy.”

“Oh I’ll be hitting that stage soon but only because your giant daughter will be in the way,” I chuckle. I swear, I look like I’m eight months in already and I’m only at the five month mark.

“If you’re feeling unpretty I don’t mind paying for you to get your legs and whatever else you want waxed,” he offers. “If it wasn’t for me you wouldn’t be unable to bend.”

“Have you ever had anything waxed?” I snort.

“My chest once, during game of truth or dare when I was in high school.”

“And did you enjoy it?” Waxing hurts like a motherfucker. Anyone who says it doesn’t is a big fuckin’ liar.

“No, but women are nuts. You might like that shit,” he shrugs.

“Fuck that noise. I did it once for your thirtieth birthday. That was enough for me.” I’m not doing it again.

“It was just an offer. Like I said, I think you’re pretty either way.”

“Uh huh.” I grab Eric’s hand and put it on my belly when Butterball starts kicking on my left side.

“Oooh, did you eat something sweet?” he asks as he pushes her little foot or hand back.

“Nope. I haven’t eaten anything in a while.”

“Maybe she’s pissed at you for trying to starve her to death,” Eric chuckles.

“Could be. I mean she is your daughter, so I wouldn’t be surprised,” I laugh.

“I have been known to kick Alcide for trying to take the last taco,” he nods.

“That’s true. The only reason you don’t hit me is because I distract you with my taco,” I giggle.

“Pretty much.” He leans down to kiss me and adds, “It is a gorgeous and delicious taco.”

“I don’t think anyone has called it gorgeous before.” He kisses me again and my lips are just parting for him when I hear Janice behind him. Ugh. Bye bye lady boner.

“I found ’em! They’re practicing to get the baby a sibling!” she calls out.

“Fuck me running,” Eric mumbles against my lips.

“I’m about to practice cutting a bitch,” I mutter.

“Come on, lovebirds, it’s time to get the show on the road,” she says.

Thank fuck. The sooner my pregnant, tank ass can get in the air conditioning the better.

“You think Maria will get mad if we cut out early?” Eric asks as we follow Janice out.

“Not at me. She knows your kid has given me narcolepsy,” I snort.

“Maybe you need me to drive you home,” he suggests.

“Are you looking for excuses to ditch our best friends’ wedding?”

“I’m looking for excuses to take you home to get you naked. The wedding has nothing to do with it.”

“We’ll see. Some schmuck kept me awake and naked last night so I’m already tired.”

“You started it,” he shrugs.

“I asked you to unzip my dress!” I laugh.

“I heard ‘get me naked so we can fuck’. You knew that when you asked,” he says, smacking my butt. “You’re just way too sexy for your own good.”

“You need to get your old man hearing tested,” I tease. “Or as Jason would squeak, get your dick out of your ear.” I can’t get my voice as high as my brother’s. That’s sad.

Eric laughs and says, “I’m trying to get my dick into you again. It’s nowhere near my ears. I heard you just fine.”

“You’re ridiculous,” I laugh.

“Oh, Sookie, don’t let me forget that I brought you one of those placenta preservation kits,” Janice says. She nearly drove me to drink yesterday while she yammered on and on and on about the benefits of placenta preservation.

“Wouldn’t dream of it,” I reply just to appease her. Thankfully we have to line up for our walk down the aisle and Eric has to go pair up with Maria’s sister. “Save me a dance,” I tell him.

“Of course,” he winks before he walks away.

Yeah, I’m definitely watching his ass. I’m watching a little too hard since I don’t hear Maria approaching me or the acoustic guitars that start playing.

“This is it!” she whisper-yells.

“Yep. Are you sure you don’t want me to hijack a golf cart so we can Thelma and Louise it?” It’s what best friends are for.

“I’m sure. Alcide woke me up with two dozen roses and told me he couldn’t wait to call me his wife. I guess he’s a keeper,” she giggles.

“If you can get past the afghan growing out of his chest, absolutely,” I chuckle. “I’m happy for you, Maria.” I don’t want to get all sappy because we’ll both start sobbing.

“Thanks. I’m happy for you too, for other reasons. I can’t wait until the tables are turned. It’s insane to look at a man and know he loves you so much he wants to give you his name,” she smiles.

“Just wait until it creates a whole new person.” All of a sudden I belch. Loudly. Fucking pregnancy. “My daughter’s a classy broad,” I shrug.

“I’ve met her parents,” Maria chuckles.

I grab her hand so she can feel the baby moving around. “I think she just high fived you,” I say.

“Awww,” she squeaks. “Now I can’t wait to have my own.”

“Good. I’ll save you the placenta thing Janice is giving me,” I wink. I sure as shit don’t need it.

“Um, no.”

“Oh yeah. It’s good for making shampoo or a veggie stew–”

“Please stop. Right there,” Maria says, holding up her hand.

If only I could have stopped Janice. She went on and on like Bubba talking about shrimpin’.

“Maria, sweetheart,” her dad says from behind her. It’s time for her to take her place at the end of the line.

“Go get ’em, tiger,” I wink.

“I have him,” she smiles as she walks back to stand with her dad.

I take the arm offered by Maria’s younger brother, who has had a hard time looking at anything but my tits since I got to Wisconsin. Although I can’t rightly blame him with this dress on. I had a little cleavage blocker piece of material added to the neckline of the dress so the amount of boob I was showing wouldn’t be obscene. All the same, he keeps looking at me like he wants to motorboat me, which earns him a slap on the back of his head from the caveman behind him.

“Hey!” he hisses, turning to look at Eric.

“Mine,” Eric growls. “If I catch you one more time a pop in the back of the head is the least of your worries.”

Maria’s brother quickly turns his head forward.

I look back at Eric and say, “Thank you, Mr. Northman. There’ll be something extra in your check this week.” I probably shouldn’t encourage the caveman stuff but I know he does it out of love and not because he thinks I’m incapable of taking care of myself.

“Just doing my job, Miss Stackhouse.”

I give him a wink and then it’s my turn to start walking. As happy as I am for Maria and as much as I love Eric I still don’t know if I want to get married. I’m not against it either; I’ve just never been compelled to fantasize about weddings like a lot of girls do. It’s not even about Eric, although he’s part of it. I think it’s a good thing, though, that I’m not trying to rush into things. Right now our daughter is the most important thing. We can keep working on us and see where it goes. If it leads us down the aisle, so be it.


The ceremony was beautiful. Alcide cried, but that was to be expected. He’s a bit of a girl sometimes. The pictures were annoying, but I made sure my eyes were open for all of them. Maria would make us all dress up again if they came back and my eyes were closed. Now they’re getting ready to have their first dance as husband and wife and I have my lady sitting on my lap.

“You sure you don’t want that to be us one day?” I whisper as I rub Butterball. I think she’s sleeping since Sookie fed her right after the pictures.

“I haven’t decided yet.” She kisses my temple. “But if I keep sitting on you, you’ll be permanently disfigured.”

“I have a thigh of steel,” I chuckle. “Plus, you’re not heavy. Would you be with me if I was disfigured?”

“Eh,” she shrugs.

“As long as my face was still pretty would you stuck around?” I kiss her shoulder as we watch Mr. and Mrs. Herveaux on the dance floor.

“Well yeah. You know how shallow I am,” she giggles.

“True,” I agree. “That’s why you picked me over the wooly mammoth out there.”

“True story.”

We go silent as we watch the newly married couple dance. I know Sookie’s never been worried about getting married, but being here and watching them is making me want to get married more and more. She’s the only girl I’ve ever had these thoughts about, plus she’s having my baby. It’s the natural next step. I’m not going to ask her anytime soon, though. I’m going to wait a while. The problem is, we’ve been so unpredictable in our relationship. I don’t want her to think I want to marry her just because the baby is coming. I told her I wanted to be in this relationship for me and that’s the truth. I’ve never wanted anything other than Sookie.

I feel a small kick on my hand. I’m sure she’s just stretching or something, but feeling her move always makes me smile.

When the dance is over everyone cheers. Sookie looks so happy. She looks beautiful. I can tell when I start to get creepy when she looks over at me with that big smile still on her pretty face.

“Sorry,” I apologize quietly.

“I’m used to it,” she shrugs.

“I hope you never get tired of it,” I smile and kiss her shoulder again.

“You know, today’s a good day. The baby’s healthy, our friends got married and Dad hasn’t stripped down to his shorts,” she says.

I chuckle and say, “That’s the best part.” Corbett has zero shame. He’s pretty awesome for it. I hope I can be as cool as he is one day. “And Mom is beside herself since we’re actually together.”

“You should have seen her face when I told her you want to hyphenate the baby’s last name.”

I tickle Sookie’s side, making her giggle.

“Only if we hyphenate it Stackhouse – Northman,” I say. I’m trying to stay calm over this Dave Navarro shit.

“Nah. She doesn’t need an alphabet soup name. Besides, Lorelei Nix Stackhouse-Northman would be a lot for a kid.”

“I bet it would be cute when she tried to say it. Lorelei Northman is perfect. Maybe one day I’ll talk you into changing into a Northman too.”

“Oh good. I thought you were going to go for the double hyphen of Stackhouse-Navarro-Northman,” she chuckles and pokes my side.

“At least you know where you rank,” I joke.

“I’ll just be a sad sister wife,” she sighs.

“Why would you be sad? We’ll let you join every now and then,” I smile.

“Only if you make him get a better haircut. He’s starting to look like an old white woman.”

“Anything for you, my love,” I smile and pull her face to mine for a sweet kiss.

“Thank you.” Sookie shifts on my lap to take off her boots. “I need a cool shower.”

“Should we take off to find one?” I ask, all too eager to get out of here to get Sookie naked.

“They haven’t cut the cake yet.”

“We can swipe the top on the way out,” I grin. “Or, I’m sure Maria will save some for Lorelei.”

“Eric Northman if you take the top tier of her wedding cake she will key your truck with little penis shapes,” Sookie laughs.

“I can get a new paint job,” I chuckle. “Fine, we’ll stay until after cake and then I’ll take you home to shower.”


“Want to dance?” Alcide and Maria are done, and mingling with people. I promised Sookie a dance before the night is up. I’m not the best dancer. I don’t necessarily like doing it, but I’ve never turned her down.

“I’d love to,” she smiles and gets off my lap.

I take Sookie’s hand to lead her to the dance floor. The song is slow; I wouldn’t be out here on a fast song. I don’t have that much rhythm. When we get out on the floor I lift Sookie’s arms to wrap around my neck. My arms go around her waist and we begin to sway. It’s a country song. I couldn’t tell you who sings it, but it’s nice and slow. It sounds pretty, that’s all that matters.

“You can stand on my feet if you don’t want to get your feet too dirty,” I offer. She didn’t put her shoes on before we came out here.

“No, I’m good.”

She knows I’ll get down to scrub them in the shower anyway.

“Do you know what this song is?”

“Rascal Flatts. I forget the name though,” she answers.

“Hmm, it’s sweet,” I smile. I probably shouldn’t but I can’t help myself. I dip my head to give her a lingering peck. I want more. She’s way too damn pretty today. I really, really want to get out of here.

“It is,” she agrees. “I always figured if we got married you’d insist on that one Metallica song being our first dance.”

Nothing Else Matters?” I ask. That would be a good one.

“Sure,” she smiles.

“What would you want to be our first dance song? I honestly haven’t even thought about it. I just want to be able to call you mine forever.” Fucking wedding making me sappy.

“Mmm… Definitely Smack My Bitch Up.

“Good choice, babe,” I snort. “That’s why you’re the only girl I can ever imagine marrying. You have great taste in music.”

Sookie laughs and says, “If that didn’t pan out I’d go with Poison by Bel Biv Devoe since it’s full of good advice.”

“Damn right it is,” I snort. “No Baby Got Back? You do have the best ass in four counties. And I do trust your big butt and smile.”

“That’s because you never slipped a little Medina in my glass,” she winks.

“Damn, if you weren’t pregnant I would bust it out,” I snort.

“This kid ruins all our fun.”

“She’s not going to be cooking forever,” I remind her and give her a light tap on the ass.

“Close enough. Seventeen more weeks minimum. That’s a long time. I already look like she should be coming out soon.”

“You’re not that big, Sookie. You look like you’re only five months… Pretty soon we’re going to have to come up with baby friendly positions,” I chuckle.

“Like the wiggling whale or the slow snail,” she pouts. “Or the jiggling jumbo.”

“Nothing like that and you know it. You know I think you’re beautiful no matter what and I’ve offered to go to the gym with you if you were that worried about it,” I tell her. “You can stop talking about my future missus like that, thank you very much.”

“You try being pregnant and then we’ll talk. Until then, zip it,” she snaps at me.


I go quiet as we dance. Sookie is irritated now, which is making this awkward. I could argue with her for snapping at me, but that’s what I’m trying to change. I also know she’s impossible to argue with while she’s pregnant. She’ll either break up with me or cry. I don’t want to deal with either tonight.

The song changes to a fast song.

“Did you want to keep dancing or…” I don’t know if she’s still snapping at me or not.

“No. I have to go pee,” she sighs and then heads for the bathroom.

I shake my head as she walks away. I have seventeen more weeks of this. I go back to our seats and plop down. I take a sip of my drink that’s sitting there when Corbett walks up.

“Hey,” I sigh as I lean back in my chair.

“Hi. How’s it going?” He takes a seat, leaving an empty chair between us.

“Good,” I smile. “Ready to get out of here.”

“Tell me about it. Things are starting to stick together.”

“Yeah, it’s pretty gross,” I chuckle.

“I was watching World’s Dumbest the other night and it was inventions. There was this pair of refrigerated underpants. I’d pay a thousand dollars for a pair right now,” he says seriously.

“Uh, I’ll pass on frostbite on my balls,” I snort. “I’ll be fine with going home to shower and sit in the A/C.”

“Well I don’t want frostbite either. That wiggly redhead in the champagne colored dress has been giving me the eye,” he tells me.

“Oh yeah? You looking for a new lady? She looks like she could be young enough to be your daughter,” I tell him. That might be pushing it, but she looks pretty damn young.

“She does not,” Corbett argues.

“Hmm, maybe Sookie’s young aunt,” I shrug. “Hey, it’s okay. I’m a cradle robber too. Sookie is two years younger than me.”

“Two years is nothing.” Corbett takes a drink of his beer. “The air conditioning must be powered by the local mouth breathing Packers fans on bicycles out back.”

I laugh. “Says the guy that refuses to turn his air conditioning on.”

“I can sit on my couch in my birthday suit if I want to,” he shrugs.

“That’s true. Once Lafayette moves out I can too,” I agree. “If I did that now I don’t think he’d go.”

“I’m not sure you’re his type. According to my daughter, your husband is more his type,” he smirks.

“Alas, he’s taken,” I sigh. “I’m lucky she takes pity on me.”

“That’s very true.”

“I think she’s mad at me for knocking her up with a giant,” I chuckle.

“She’ll get over it when she can cuddle her.”

“I hope so,” I sigh. “Did she tell you we’re for sure going with Lorelei?” I ask. I know it should be Jason’s name.

“She did. It’s a good name. Classy. Not some nonsense name like those celebrity babies named after foods, colors, directions or professions,” he says with disdain.

“I agree. I’m shit at picking names so I’m glad she suggested it. I think Michelle is probably doing back flips wherever she is. Nix isn’t exactly normal, but I like the way it sounds next to Lorelei.”

“Yeah, it’s a good choice,” he agrees.

Corbett and I end up people watching for a while. Sookie doesn’t come back to me when she’s out of the bathroom. I don’t think I pissed her off that bad. I have been wrong before, though.

All in all, the wedding went off without a hitch. Alcide and Maria are lucky they can get along long enough to plan something so beautiful. I’m still going to work on Sookie. If we can get through the delivery without breaking up again I’m going to ask. She’ll probably say no, that’s expected. I’m persistent; I’ll just keep asking until she says yes.