Chapter 14: I Don’t Want Anything to Change
I opened my eyes and immediately felt a bit weak at the knees. My arm had still been wrapped around Robert’s, but as I started to buckle at the knees, Robert quickly wrapped his arm around my shoulders to hold me up.
“Are you alright, lígo mi̱téra?” Robert asked. I noticed that when he was upset, his accent was more pronounced, just like Eric’s was.
I pushed those thoughts away as I got my feet underneath me. “I’m alright, I just need to get my bearings,” I assured Robert. I still felt a little lightheaded, but I steadied myself and looked up at Robert with a reassuring smile.
“You look pale, lígo mi̱téra. Have you had any blood today?” I felt my face screw up into a sour look at the thought of having to drink more synthetic blood. I really wasn’t sure how I was going to do that throughout my pregnancy. Robert chuckled at the face I pulled, “I’ll take that as a no. You need to keep your blood supply up. Especially, it appears, if you’re going to use your magic.”
I sighed and nodded my agreement. “I just didn’t have any time today to try and choke that stuff down. It’s not like I can explain having to drink blood to people, and besides, how much of that stuff am I supposed to drink?” I asked.
Robert tilted my chin up with his fingers. “Perhaps a phone call to your little doctor shall be in order as well. Regardless of how much blood you need to take in, if you would like, we can make it a point to ‘choke’ it down together,” he said with a smile.
I laughed, “Yeah, if I have to suffer through drinking that stuff, it would be easier to know someone else was having to suffer with me.”
I finally had my bearings enough that I started to look around to see where we were. Gone was the rolling ocean tide; it was replaced with tall, lush green trees, surrounding a beautiful lake. It seemed that we were in a park of some kind, from the park benches. The bright glow in the sky around us indicated that we were in a large city of some kind. Robert looked around as well, and then looked up at the stars.
“We are somewhere near the east coast, much further north too,” he said in surprise.
“You got that from looking at the stars?” I asked.
“Of course, I have sailed some in my existence, and this was how we navigated,” he replied as if it was nothing.
I looked around curiously, trying to place why it seemed familiar. Finally, I saw what it would look like in the daylight. “I think we’re in Montreal,” I said in surprise.
Robert tilted his head for a moment, and I realized he was listening to something. “Yes,” he finally replied, “it is likely this is Quebec. I hear many of the humans speaking French.”
We started walking away from the lake towards the brightly lit buildings that surrounded the park, but I still felt a little weak, and Robert could tell. “Here, sit on this bench, lígo mi̱téra. I will acquire you some blood and a phone. You wait here, I’ll be right back.”
I grabbed Robert’s hand before he could move away. “Don’t steal someone’s phone,” I said worried about what I knew vampire ethics were.
Robert laughed and pulled a wallet out of his inside breast pocket of his jacket, revealing a wad of cash. “Do not fret lígo mi̱téra. I shall buy us both a Sang de la Vie and pay a human for the use of their phone, then we can leave it here when we go,” he replied.
I quirked an eyebrow at him. “Sang de la Vie?” I asked.
“Blood of Life, or Life Blood, in French. It is a European brand of synthetic blood served throughout Canada,” he answered. “Stay right here, I shall be back in a few moments.” He zipped away, and I was left to stare at the dark water of the lake.
I brought my knees to my chest and wrapped my arms around my legs. I could tell we were further north too. It felt a lot cooler here at night then it did back home. Then again, it had in California too when I was standing on the beach.
It only seemed like a few minutes had passed when Robert appeared in front of me again, holding two bottles of blood. I took the bottle he held out to me and sighed. I knew I needed to do this, so I took a deep breath and began chugging it with determination. I managed to down it all, but I was wishing I had something else to get rid of the taste when another bottle appeared in front of me.
“I thought you might like something else to drink. Something more pleasing to your palate,” Robert explained.
I took the bottle and started drinking the clear soda. I was surprised and pleased to find that it was a strawberry flavored Canadian soda. “Thank you,” I said as I sipped the soda to wash down the taste of the blood. Robert sat next to me on the bench and began sipping his own blood. He dug into his pocket and handed me a cell phone.
“Call your little doctor first. It would be wise to know how much blood you should be taking,” he told me.
I opened the phone and said, “Oh, shoot! I forgot that little card of hers back at the hotel.”
“No necessary,” Robert informed me, and proceeded to rattle off the number. Must be nice to remember everything like vampires could.
My conversation with Dr. Ludwig was very much like her. Short and to the point. Since there had never been a woman pregnant with children by a vampire, we were all in unfamiliar territory. She recommended drinking at least a bottle of blood a day for now, and more if I felt lightheaded again. She explained that we would reevaluate at my next checkup how well one bottle of blood a day was going. I dreaded having to try downing a bottle every day, but I had already vowed to myself that I would do whatever was necessary for my children, so I resigned myself to following Dr. Ludwig’s orders.
I knew my next call was going to be much more difficult. I already felt guilty about leaving Bon Temps without a word to Sam, but I felt even guiltier that it was so late and I would probably be waking him up. Robert must have sensed my inner turmoil, because he wrapped an arm around my shoulder and pressed my head onto his shoulder as he gently stroked my hair.
I screwed my courage up, and dialed Sam’s number.
“Hello?” Sam’s sleepy voice asked.
“Sam, it’s me,” I said quietly.
“Sookie! Where the hell are you? No, wait; don’t answer that, who knows whose listening. Just tell me that you’re okay,” Sam said frantically. I thought it was a little paranoid to think that someone was listening, but then again, I was the one who had teleported to Quebec to call back home.
“I’m somewhere safe, and I’m fine, I guess,” I answered. It felt good just to hear a familiar voice from home.
“Jesus, cher,” Sam seemed to be searching for what to say. Finally, he asked, “Did Eric find out about what you found out that day?” Sam asked in a roundabout way.
I could tell he really thought people might be listening in, so I responded as vaguely as he had spoken, “Yeah, he did.”
“And, who is it?” he asked. I knew he was asking who the father was.
“I can’t tell you,” I answered.
“I’d say I wish you would have come to me, but the truth is, I don’t think I would have been able to help you,” Sam admitted in a tortured voice. “As long as you’re safe, you just stay wherever the hell you are,” he advised.
“Sam, what happened there after I left?” I asked.
I could hear Sam moving around, and I could almost imagine him pacing in his trailer. “I don’t know all of what’s going on, but you know how the Supe grapevine works, and it’s working overtime now. All I know is that the area around your house looks like a tornado touched down. Rumor is that Pam took off that night and went back to Minnesota, though I’m not sure why. De Castro’s spies found out right away that something is going on and he’s had people out looking for you ever since. He asked Eric to produce you, but since you’re his wife, it’s Eric’s right to refuse and he supposedly did. Word is that de Castro is trying to find you so he can keep you himself under the claim of exercising his right to protect his asset even from Eric. The rumor is that when he finds you, he intends to take it before the Pythoness and sue for custody of you to keep you safe.”
“What! I’m not a child or something! I can decide for myself where I want to be to be safe. You’re talking like I’m a child that Felipe is suing for custody over,” I said angrily.
“Cher, you know they don’t see us as much more than that anyway. You need to just stay as far away as possible. He’s got Weres crawling all over the place looking for you, and Eric is still on the warpath. I heard through Jannalynn who heard from another pack member, that he even put Bill in Dr. Ludwig’s clinic.” I gasped at that, but Sam continued, “He’s okay, cher, but I guess he came back from Judith’s when you took off, and when he found out from the Viking what happened … well … they got into it. Jannalynn said he’s already out of the clinic and gone back to Judith’s, so don’t worry about him.”
“My God, Sam. What do I do?” I choked as the tears once again started to fall.
“I don’t know cher. I don’t know. I think you’ve got to lay low for a while. Maybe I can figure something out,” he said wearily.
I knew Sam would try to fix things for me if he could, but I wasn’t about to drag his life into this mess. “No, I think I’m alright where I am, Sam. At least for now. I can’t let you get involved in this. I don’t want to see you get hurt. Tell Jason that I love him, and I’ll miss him. Good-bye,” I said quickly and hung up.
I wanted to make one last call before my emotions overwhelmed me, so I quickly dialed a number that I had always remembered, but had never called. It worried me that Sam said Pam had left and gone to Minnesota. A part of me was so desperate to make Eric understand what was going on, even though it was too dangerous for me to go back to him. I was too afraid to even try talking to Eric, but I wanted to try to let Pam know that I wasn’t disloyal to Eric. I felt like if I could just explain it to her at the very least, at least a portion of my guilt might be lifted.
I tried to keep my voice steady as I heard Pam pick up her phone. “Pam, I need to talk to you,” I managed to get out.
In a flat voice, Pam replied, “My maker has commanded that I not speak to you,” and with that, the line went dead.
As the phone fell from my hand, I wondered if I would ever be able to get back even a little piece of my old life and my old friends. As the despair overtook me, the damn broke and my breath started coming out in jagged sobs. Robert’s hands hovered around me indecisively for several moments before he finally picked me up and held my huddled form on his lap.
I didn’t understand any of the gentle words he spoke as he rubbed my back and rocked me, but they did seem soothing. Eventually, as my sobs subsided, he began to gently hum a strange tune.
“What do I do now?” I asked as my breath caught in my throat.
“Now, we return, and you build a new life. I will do everything in my power to protect you and keep you out of the hands of those who would use you. You are strong, lígo mi̱téra, you will continue on for your children. We will find a way to make things work out,” Robert said softly into my ear as he continued rocking me.
When my breathing had evened out again, I stood and offered my hand to Robert. I could see the beginning of the graying sky here in Quebec, so I knew we needed to get going. I was surprised Robert hadn’t been pushing for me to get my act together sooner. “Let’s head back,” I said with a sigh. I wanted nothing more than to go home and wondered if I would ever be able to return to Louisiana. Monterey wasn’t my home, but I hoped that one day the ache I felt for home would lessen enough that I could maybe find some kind of peace. I closed my eyes and gathered my magic, hoping with all of my might that one day I could feel that Monterey was home. But I knew in my heart that it never would be.
A/N: I finished one article, so I finished this short chapter to get it out. Now I need to finish writing my other article!
As always, let me know what you thought!