Sarah was, once again, tied to a chair, though she was sitting “at the table.” I had glamoured her to make no noise, but Tray had gagged her, nonetheless. He’d called it a back-up measure. I’d not argued with the Were.
Especially not after I’d seen the plans for her and Burrell’s more “innovative experiments.”
“Are you certain that the doctors haven’t been given access to the partial Hep-V formula?” I asked Sarah.
I had left her with the ability to nod for “yes” and shake her head for “no.” And I’d also glamoured her to believe that I was a Fellowship “colleague” so she was anxious to tell me the truth.
“Are you certain that not even Dr. Overlark has been given the formulas?” I followed up, using direct glamour this time to make sure I was affecting her will to its limits.
Again, she nodded.
I could have used Sookie to double-check my “work,” but I didn’t feel it was needed. My bonded had already thrown up once after seeing the plans for the “gladiator” arena.
And she’d thrown up a second time upon seeing Sarah’s silver sex toy idea.
After that, I’d given Sookie a pitcher of tea—”salt” tea—and had asked her to try to get a nap so that our boys might grow a bit more that night. She’d not been able to sleep, but she had calmed down and was watching a re-run of I Love Lucy.
“You got lucky,” Tray commented. “Lucky that Burrell is such a paranoid son of a bitch that he was waiting until the doctors were in his own lab to give them the formulas and plans.”
I nodded in agreement and dialed Ludwig.
“What!” the acerbic voice answered. “Don’t tell me that you are being a jittery father-to-be and over-reacting to every little cramp your bonded has.”
“Oh—I am,” I smirked. “But that’s not why I’m calling.”
“Why are you calling?”
“Wanna make millions? Hell—billions?”
There was a pause. “Where and when?”
“Now. And I’m at the home of Jason Stackhouse.” I looked at Sookie’s brother. “Address,” I instructed.
He immediately rattled it off as if I’d glamoured it from him.
Not two minutes later, I heard a “pop” in the living room, and that sound was followed quickly by a very irate human-fairy hybrid storming into Jason’s kitchen.
“I am not a fucking invalid, Eric Northman! So—I threw up a couple of times because of the sick things Sarah and Burrell had been plannin’? But that doesn’t mean I’m fuckin’ fragile! Pregnant women barf! I. Am. Fine!” Sookie yelled.
I held up my hands as if she might shoot me—with her light. Or perhaps a gun. I was certain her brother had several.
Maybe she was planning to shoot me with both.
But at least her light—given the state of her palms.
Her glowy, glowy palms!
“Ludwig’s not here for you, lover,” I said softly. Calmly.
“Hey—don’t call my sister your ‘lover,'” Jason frowned.
He was always good for comic relief. Tray and Ludwig both laughed.
I didn’t. I was still at the business end of those glowing hands.
“I actively love your sister in all ways,” I said to Stackhouse, though I spoke to Sookie. “And that includes knowing that she’s a strong woman, who is doing a wonderful job growing our boys.”
She narrowed her eyes at me.
“I asked Ludwig here because I think that she could synthesize the cure for the Hep-V virus, and—being the bastard that I am—I figured that she and I could go into a partnership and charge vampires for the inoculation,” I explained.
Oops. I’m not sure that explanation helped.
“Why would you charge for it?” she seethed.
“Just ten thousand a dose,” I tried. “Nothing to a vampire.”
“We should charge fifty,” Ludwig said.
Not fucking helping!
“Hell—most would pay much more,” the diminutive doctor informed.
Sookie turned her glowing hands toward her.
Okay—maybe Ludwig was helping.
Or at least deflecting those fingers from me!
“People shouldn’t have to pay to get a cure!” she growled.
Ludwig didn’t seem scared of her at all.
I didn’t know if I should envy her or pity her.
“Who do you think’s gonna put up all the investment for my initial research, blondie?” Ludwig asked, pushing her way to the table to pick up the partial formula for Hep-V.
“Uh—I don’t know,” Sookie stammered.
“And what about production costs? Distribution? It’s not as if vampires can be public with this kind of thing!” Ludwig looked up at me—even though I was sitting.
Yes, I’d kept the table between Sookie’s hands and my cock. So sue me!
“Is this what I think it is?” the diminutive doctor asked after studying the formula for a moment.
I nodded. “Yes. The human government used Hep-D as a template to design something far more lethal. It was to be a failsafe in case we did not behave.”
“And you haven’t been—not lately,” Ludwig observed.
“Some of them!” Sookie said defensively.
I grinned at her, though the doctor ignored her.
Ludwig glanced at Sarah Newlin. “And if this one is here, does that mean that she had access to this formula?”
I nodded. “Yes. Governor Burrell too.”
Ludwig scoffed. “What a fucking asshole! And a certifiable one as well.”
“The most dangerous kind,” I agreed. “But we have the upper hand. That formula is incomplete.”
“A chimp with a brain disorder could figure out the missing parts of this—given a little time,” Ludwig intoned.
“All the more reason to make lots of this,” I said, handing her the complete formula for the cure.
Thankfully, Sookie’s anger seemed to have abated as we discussed Hep-V—and her fingers were back to normal. She came to stand next to me, and I pulled her into my lap before we both rested our hands over our boys.
“Some of these ingredients are a bit obscure,” the doctor remarked. “And I assume you’d rather keep your having this cure secret from all non-vamps.”
“Yes,” I nodded. Was I going to glamour the knowledge from Jason Stackhouse? Yep. Tray—I figured—could be an exception, as long as Sookie kept tabs on his brain to monitor his loyalty to us. So far—so good—as far as he was concerned.
“I’ll have to get the harder-to-find stuff via back channels in South America and Asia then,” the doctor mused. “But I have enough right now to make an initial batch for testing.”
She looked up at me again. “You know—this might all be a trick. What if the ‘cure’ is just another way to fuck with vampires?”
“I have considered that,” I said. “That is why Sarah Newlin here will be our guinea pig.”
“She isn’t vampire,” the doctor remarked.
“Yet,” I smirked.
Sookie gasped. Oh—fuck! Her lit up fingers were back.
“You are not gonna make her a vampire!” Sookie yelled. “Your blood is mine, Eric Northman! Mine!”
“Shit, Sook,” Jason said, backing away from the table with wide eyes. “Why are your eyes all white all of a sudden? And—uh—your microwave fingers are back!”
“Not me!” I said quickly—even as I moved my fingers away from hers and caressed her back. “I’m not going to do it. I know whom I belong to,” I assured.
Ludwig cackled like the fucking troll she was!
She should find a bridge to patrol!
“I see the fairy has tamed you, vampire!” the height-challenged healer crowed.
“My bonded carries my children,” I reminded her.
The bitch just kept laughing.
“Wait!” Tray said, sitting down heavily into a chair. “Yours?”
“Of course, they’re his!” Jason Stackhouse stormed. “Hey—what are you tryin’ to say about my sister?”
“I assumed it was,” Tray stammered, “uh—artificial insemination.”
I sighed and rolled my eyes at Sookie’s brother. At least he was protective of Sookie—finally. And—oh well—Tray was bound to learn the truth soon enough.
“Sookie—as you could tell—is Supernatural,” I explained to the Were. “Specifically, she is part fairy.”
“Apparently, I can nest,” Sookie intoned.
“With a—with a—with a,” Tray started.
“Fine, decent, Christian vampire!” Stackhouse said.
Ludwig snorted as she lost all control.
I pinched the bridge of my nose.
“Um—Jason, Eric was a Viking,” Sookie tried.
“See!” Jason triumphed as if she’d confirmed his ideas that I was fine, decent, or Christian.”
Tray ignored both the idiot and the temporarily “broken” doctor.
“Yours,” he said reverently.
I nodded. “Mine.”
He took a deep breath.
“Still want the guard job?” I asked.
He nodded. “Yeah. You’ll need to glamour him to believe the artificial insemination thing though,” Tray said motioning toward Sookie’s brother.
I chuckled as Jason looked affronted. “I’m gonna need to glamour most of the goddamned town!” I returned sarcastically.
“Oh—well—then I guess that’s okay,” Stackhouse chimed in.
The doctor barely stopped laughing long enough to speak. “A quarter million should be enough to get our project up and running,” she snorted.
“I’ll wire it to the usual account by morning,” I agreed.
She sobered and looked at Sookie. “Based on costs, we will be charging fifteen thousand per inoculation, but payment plans or alternatives will be negotiated on a case by case basis.”
“Alternatives?” my bonded asked, suddenly back in ‘battle mode.’
“Vampire blood is good for a variety of the ailments I treat,” the doctor informed. “A vial in exchange for the cure will work for me.”
I wanted to ask what would become of my profits on such transactions, but I thought the better of it for the moment. I’d take it up with the “troll” later.
“Fine,” Sookie agreed—as if she were the chief negotiator in the room.
Actually, she probably was.
Ludwig nodded and looked at me. “When can I expect my test subject?” she asked glancing at Sarah.
“Three nights,” I responded, even as I texted Thalia, promising her that if she did one very unsavory thing for me that she could live in my Area for the rest of her existence without ever paying another tax, another tribute, or another visit to Fangtasia.
Unsurprisingly, she agreed right away, even when I texted her the specifics.
Apparently, a few days of being the maker to Sarah Newlin was worth an immeasurable time of being left the fuck alone.
Who would have figured?
To her credit, my bonded didn’t argue whether it was cruel or unusual to use Sarah as a test subject, and she didn’t ask what would happen to the baby vamp after the tests were performed.
And small wonders.
Speaking of which, I put my hand back over her belly, now that it was safe to do so.
“You know, more salt would help to keep her mood swings under control,” Ludwig suggested before popping away.
“What. Fucking. Mood. Swings!” Sookie positively stormed.
“On it!” Jason said immediately, running to grab a large box of salt and a glass of water.
Maybe the boy had use, after all.
A/N: I love Dr. Ludwig as a character. I think that one of my favorite scenes in the last season was when she had been driving that Hummer. LOL! The actress was amazing—just perfect. Anyway, I wanted to bring her into this story beyond Sookie’s pregnancy, and it made sense to make her a part of the Hep-V cure. However, my favorite part of writing this chapter was imagining Dr. L and Jason in the same scene. I’ve also decided to make Tray a bigger part of the narrative. I gotta say that I always liked him as a character.
Anyway, I hope you enjoyed the chapter and that you’ll take the time to leave a comment! I know I’ve said it before, but your words are always so encouraging. They’re like little breaks to my workdays.
Next week: We get to meet Andy’s girls and find out more about Fae growth from Claude.
For your enjoyment. 😉