I’m discharged from the hospital the next morning. I feel good, mostly. My head is still a little sore and it sucks having to wear this brace, but it’s better than it being broken. I meant what I said about not caring about me. My only thought was for Elina. The sheets must have padded my fall, but I was still having contractions in the emergency room.
Thankfully Dr. Pardloe was able to stop them. I have to spend the week in bed, but it’s a small price to pay for a healthy baby. It works out well that I’m already staying with Eric because I’m sure he wouldn’t let me go home alone.
When we get to the house my dad’s truck is still parked in front. I roll my eyes at that. I can’t believe he actually slept over.
“You’re never getting rid of him,” I tell Eric.
He pulls into the garage and I don’t even try to open my door. He’s going to drive me crazy over the next week, I can feel it.
“He claims he’s going to pop out and cockblock us intermittently,” Eric chuckles as he opens the door.
“I have no doubt he was being serious. He probably won’t have pants on either,” I snicker. Ever since Jason and I moved out, Dad thinks it’s acceptable to walk around the house without his pants on.
“I’ve been warned,” he smiles and closes the door behind me before he grabs my bag from the backseat.
“That’s what you think,” I sigh and head for the house. I’ll be taking the elevator until further notice.
“Are you hungry? The hospital food didn’t look so great. I can bring you up something to eat if you want,” Eric offers when we walk in.
“That would be great. I’m starving,” I tell him.
“Alright, head on up and I’ll bring you something. Want something light or meat?”
“Do you have anymore of those onion rings in the freezer?” I’ve been dreaming about them for days.
“You got it.” Eric gives me a quick kiss and heads to the kitchen.
I get on the elevator and go up to the second floor. The game room door is wide open and the TV is on. I find my dad passed out on the couch, face down without pants on. I don’t think twice about going down the hall to the master bedroom to get my phone.
When I get back to the game room I take a few pictures of Dad and send them to Mom, Jase and Uncle Terry. He’s been my dad’s best friend for like thirty years. Only then do I loudly clear my throat. That does nothing.
“Sandra Bullock is a hack,” I say in a loud voice.
Dad’s eye cracks open and he grumbles, “I’d disown you, but the boyfriend might kick me off of the couch.”
“I could have said she’s a flat chested hack.”
“I take that back, I’m going to talk him into kicking you out. How are you feeling?”
“Well I sprained my wrist but my wit is at full power.”
“Good. You got a nasty bump on your noggin. I got a good look at the aftermath,” he says and flips over so he can sit up.
“I’m sure it was bad. Don’t be surprised if Uncle Terry texts you soon.”
“Why?” he asks, reaching for his pants.
“I sent him a picture of you passed out in your drawers. I should send it to Gran too.” She’ll make it her Christmas card.
“Oh Lord,” he snickers. “They’ve both seen me in less.”
“Yeah I don’t want to hear about what really happens on your fishing trips, Jack Twist,” I smirk.
“It’s like Vegas,” he laughs and stands to pull his pants up. “Where’s the son-in-law?”
“Oh he’s the son-in-law now, huh? When did that happen?” Not too long ago Eric was still the son of a bitch that got me pregnant.
Dad looks around the room and says, “Well, he did make sure you and my granddaughter made it to the hospital in record time. There’s also… this,” he finishes, motioning around the room.
“Yeah, about that… you’re welcome to visit but I’m kicking you out.”
“But, Eric said–”
“He’s not the boss,” I scoff. It’s not technicality my house yet, but if Eric expects to get laid again, Dad’s gotta go.
“Fine. I’m sure your mother misses me anyway,” he pouts.
“You better hope she didn’t dismantle the shrine to Sandra while you’ve been here.”
“Shit,” he grumbles. “I gotta go, baby. I’m glad you’re doing better.” Dad walks up to give me a quick hug and a kiss on the cheek. “I also need to know how to get out of here. I never got my map and homing pigeon.”
I laugh and take his arm to lead him to the elevator. I push the button to call it and then look at Dad.
“You knew about the elevator, right?” I ask.
“Yeah, Eric brought me up before he cleaned up the mess on the stairs.”
I nod as the car doors open and step into the elevator. Dad follows and we ride down to the first floor. When the doors open I lead him to the front door.
“I’ll call you later this week, old man.”
“I’ll be waiting,” he says. “Love you, kiddo.”
“Love you too.” I open the door for him and close it when he steps outside. I go to the kitchen and find Eric making what looks like a grilled cheese. “Dad’s gone. I found him face down and pantsless in the game room.”
“Oh wow,” Eric laughs. “He claimed he was moving in and I told him he had to go through you and Michelle.”
“And I reminded him that you’re not the boss around here when he said you told him it was okay.”
“Oh, you’re the boss here?” he asks, cocking an eyebrow.
“Yep,” I nod. He’ll get used to it.
“Good to know you feel that way,” he chuckles. “If you weren’t recovering I’d show you who the boss is.”
“Not if the boss didn’t tell you to.”
“Keep living in your fantasy world, Stackhouse.”
“Whatever, Northman. You know I own you,” I smile and grab a piece of cheese.
“Oh, you own part of me, alright,” he snickers. “Shouldn’t you be in bed?”
“I own several parts, mister. And Dad forgot to get his homing pigeon so he needed a guide out of here. I suggested Mom might be dismantling the Sandra shrine.”
Eric pulls the grilled cheese from the pan and walks over to where I am. He wraps his arms around me, caging me in against the counter. He dips his head and gives me a sweet kiss.
“Sadly, you might be right,” he whispers.
“Mmhmm, I’m going to miss those parts, but the new owner is pretty cute,” he smiles.
“Mmm… I’m a hot, chubby mess so who is she?” I chuckle.
“You’re a gorgeous, healthy, feisty, yet sweet woman. You know it’s all yours,” he says, lifting my hand to place it over his heart.
“It’s a very good part to own,” I whisper.
“Of course there’s another part, but we can’t play with that one right now,” he chuckles and holds my hand against his chest as he leans down to kiss me again. “Go up to bed. I’ll bring you food shortly.”
“Okay. I didn’t want to play with your kidneys anyway,” I wink and give him a kiss before heading back to the elevator.
Three days later I’m going a little stir crazy and Eric’s hovering isn’t helping matters. I appreciate that he’s taken the time off to take care of me, but I’ve never wanted a giant, Nordic shadow.
“Babe, if you want to get some work done from home I think I’ll be fine on my own,” I tell him.
“No, it’s fine. The week is clear,” he tells me.
“Okay… so maybe you have some friends you want to go visit?”
“Are you trying to get rid of me?”
“That’s all you have to say, Sookie. I’ll go. You know the rules though. No getting out of bed unless it’s to go to the bathroom,” he reminds me.
“Yes, I know.”
He gives me a quick kiss before he gets up to go to the bathroom. I hear the shower starting a moment later. I have no idea what to do with myself. I’m tired of sitting still. I get off the bed and move to the couch to watch TV.
I’m still channel surfing when Eric comes out of the bathroom in a towel and nothing else. My ovaries tingle and I whimper. Dammit, he looks sexy.
He’s scrubbing his hair dry as he makes his way over to me.
“Do you need me to get you anything before I go? I should be ready and out of your hair in a few minutes,” he says as my eyes travel over his muscles moving.
“You don’t think that would be too strenuous on the baby?” he asks, arching an eyebrow.
“No,” I say but nod my head yes.
“Uh huh, and what did Dr. Pardloe say about it?” He stops rubbing his hair and throws the towel over his shoulder before resting his hands on his hips, drawing my eyes to his delicious V.
“Oh what does he know? He’s never been pregnant,” I huff.
“And how many times have you been pregnant? How many times have you had an injury while pregnant? I’m pretty sure he knows best.”
“I’ve been pregnant more times than him.”
“Is that your only argument?”
I glare at him and say, “Fine, go. I’ll just do it myself.”
“That’s not going to work, Sookie. Now I’m not going anywhere,” he says and saunters over to plop on the end of the couch. “What are we watching?”
“Hmm, sounds good,” he nods and grabs my foot to start rubbing it.
I sigh heavily in frustration. “This fucking blows.”
“Hmm, it’s not that bad,” he says and moves up to my calf. “You’re at least getting a nice massage out of the deal.”
“Not where I want it.”
“Sookie, believe me, I would give you a hundred orgasms if it was safe for Elina. I worry about both of you, you know that.”
I sigh again. He’s not going to budge on this. I want to get up and go for a walk to burn off some of my energy but I can’t. I’m stuck right here. I don’t realize I’ve started crying until I sniffle. Goddamnit! Fucking hormones!
Eric’s hands stop moving and he shifts on the couch so he’s lying next to me. “Baby, what’s wrong?” he asks quietly while wiping my tears.
I can’t even talk right now. I just let myself have a little meltdown. Maybe I’ll feel better after I let it all out. I know Eric hates it when I cry, but sometimes it’s a necessity.
He wraps his arm around me and pulls me close so my face is in his chest. I feel his lips brush over my forehead and his hand starts rubbing up and down my back. I don’t know how long I lie there crying but I eventually fall asleep.
When my eyes open Eric is still lying beside me rubbing my back. I tilt my head up to find him watching something on TV.
“How long have I been sleeping?” I ask in a froggy voice.
“Mmm, just over an hour,” he replies softly and kisses my head.
“I’m sorry I flipped out before. I’m just frustrated. It’s not your fault though.”
“I know,” he says and flexes his hips so I can feel his erection. “You started moving in your sleep,” he chuckles.
“Sorry,” I sigh.
“Are you sure you want me to stay here? Hadley’s at my house so I won’t be alone–”
Eric shuts me up with a kiss. He reaches up to hold the back of my head and licks my lips, getting me to open for him. He kisses me for just a few seconds before he pulls back and whispers, “I don’t want you going anywhere.”
“Okay,” I whisper. My eyes meet his and he kisses my forehead. I try to hug him but it’s just a one armed hug. He’s sweet to me even when I’m a brat. I love him for that.
“And I promise when this week is up I’m going to make you scream for hours,” he purrs.
I look up into his eyes and instead of flirting back I say, “I love you.”
He just stares at me for a minute or so and eventually says, “Huh?”
“I love you.”
Eric runs his fingers through my hair again and tilts his head to kiss me. He doesn’t say it back, but he’s conveying everything he’s feeling in the kiss. He pulls back after a couple minutes and squeezes me to his chest.
“I’m almost there,” he whispers.
I nod my head. I know he is. I didn’t say so he would say it back and I’m glad he’s not saying it just to placate me. He’ll say it when he’s ready.
“Come on, do you want to take a little stroll around the house?”
“How about we go for a drive? I’ll be sitting the whole time but it’ll get us both out of the house.”
“We can do that. I still need to get dressed.”
“Yeah, you probably should before I try to ride you,” I snicker.
“Mmm, that would be fun,” he smiles and gives me a quick kiss before he climbs over me. His towel drops when he stands up.
I growl and say, “Tease.”
“Wasn’t on purpose,” he calls over his shoulder as he walks toward the closet.
I get up and follow him to the closet to get dressed since I’ve only got a nightgown on right now. I peel it off and toss it in the hamper, leaving me naked.
“What’s the weather like outside?” I ask as I look at my clothing options.
“Hot,” he says. “Wanna swing by a maternity store to look at clothes. I’ll let you out for fifteen minutes,” he winks.
“Tempting, but I’ll just want to try on everything I like. I’ll just wait until next week.” I grab a pair of yoga pants and a tank top with a nifty built-in bra in it.
“Alright. Hey, why don’t you invite someone else over to hangout with you tomorrow? I know you’re tired of me.”
“I’m not tired of you. I’m tired of being stuck in the same spot all day long,” I explain.
“Okay,” he nods, pulling on his shirt. “You don’t have to stay in the room, ya know?”
“This room is as good as any other room around here,” I shrug and pull on the tank top.
I grab a pair of panties and put those on before getting the yoga pants on.
“Just an option. I’ll meet you downstairs.” He gives me a quick kiss and leaves the closet.
I put on a pair of flip flops and grab my sunglasses. I take my phone and my wallet with me just in case I need them, and ride the elevator down to the first floor.
I find Eric in the garage waiting for me in his SUV. I get up into the passenger’s seat and ask, “How about we stop for ice cream somewhere?”
“Sounds good,” he agrees. “Is there anything else you want to see, or just drive?”
“Just drive. Maybe we can figure out Elina’s middle name.”
“I like that. I can show you some of the houses for sale that I’ve been showing,” he says. “There are some gorgeous places that make our house look like a dollhouse.”
“Our house, huh?” I smile at him.
“You live there don’t you? Even if it ends up being temporary it’s yours too for now,” he shrugs.
“I’m not used to thinking of the house that way.”
“Well you should. I also don’t think you should move out in two weeks.”
“I know you don’t.”
Eric backs out of the garage and heads up the driveway. My gut says I’m delaying the inevitable with him, but I’m not ready to pull that trigger just yet.
“Left or right?” he asks.
“Left. I want a brownie sundae with extra cherries.”
“You got it,” he smiles and reaches over to hold my hand.
“You having one too, or are you watching your girlish figure?”
“Oh, I’m eating enough for all three of us,” he snorts. “It’s been too long since I had good ice cream.”
“Good. I won’t feel like such a fatty,” I giggle.
“You’re not fat, you’re pregnant. Big difference.”
“Oh I know. It doesn’t stop me from feeling fat though.”
“Sorry,” he says and reaches up to rub my belly.
“It’s okay. I’m sure it’ll get worse before Elina gets here.”
“So what do you think sounds good with Elina?” he asks. “And I assume she’ll have my last name, right?”
“As long as you don’t become an epic douchebag between now and then, yeah, she’ll have your last name. I did some looking online this morning. Since we’re going Scandinavian with her name, how about Linnea?” Elina Linnea sounds pretty in my head.
He repeats it out loud a couple times before he says, “I think we need to keep looking. I don’t like two names ending with A together.”
I pout a little but say, “Okay.”
“If we don’t come up with anything else we both like we can stick with Linnea.”
“Christine?” I suggest, even though I’m not crazy about it.
“No,” he says without hesitation.
“Not crazy about that.”
“Hmmm… I’m breaking my own naming rule, but what about Olivia?”
“No,” I shake my head.
“Linnea?” he grins.
“Linnea,” I nod.
“I think we just named our baby girl.”
“I think we did,” I smile back at him.
Just one of a billion parenting decisions we’ll have to make is out of the way.