Thank you so much for your reviews. I really wish I`d replied to all of them but I`ve been away most of the week and figured I would much rather just post the next chapter.
This chapter is a shorty, but the one after this will be up shortly too.
I want to thank Suki59 for betaing this chapter. And for those of you waiting for Dead without a Work Permit – she just started betaing that one too!
I had not expected that reaction from Eric and truth be told – it unnerved me a bit. I told myself it was everything Bill had done to me that made me suspicious towards men in general and that Eric shouldn`t suffer from that, but I had all kinds of alarm bells going off inside me.
It might be all the changes to my life. A year ago I was happily (well, happy-ish-ly) married to Bill and now I was a recovering victim, pregnant with Eric`s child and on my way to getting married too.
No wonder I kept asking myself, “When did this happen?”
“What are the rules on marriage here in New York? Can we do it right away?” Eric asked. I got an instant case of cold feet.
Not that I didn`t want to marry Eric. But things were going too fast.
I wished I could press a button on my stomach and stop the baby from growing – and then have it start growing again a year from now. Of course, then I would have to stop aging too. I felt old already.
Since I hadn`t been able to give Eric any good answers on his marriage related questions, he was now hunched over my computer, googling rules and regulations.
“We could go to Las Vegas,” he said with a grin.
I shook my head. “We have time, Eric. There`s no rush.”
“It`s just … I want us to be married right away.”
Most women would find it cute and adorable that their husband-to-be was in a hurry to tie the knot. I was apparently not “most women.” I sighed.
“I`m not going to run out on you, Eric.” I meant it as a joke but it didn`t come out that way.
Eric got up and came over to me. Soon I was engulfed in his long arms and pressed into his chest.
“I hope not,” he whispered into my hair.
“We should go to City Hall today,” Eric said the next morning when we were lying next to each other in my bed.
City Hall meant marriage license.
“We should,” I said, though I was in no hurry. When we`d obtained the marriage license we had to get married within 60 days. And we could get married after 24 hours. I kept the sigh to myself and smiled instead.
Eric gave me a kiss and the kiss soon turned into more. My morning sickness wasn`t so bad when Eric was around. He had his very special way of making me think of things other than throwing up.
Afterwards he pulled me close and let his hand rest on my stomach. Moments like this made me wonder why I was stalling. Why I wasn`t just marrying Eric and moving back home with him. It would be for the best what with Eric getting that paternity leave he wanted so badly. And after all, I could write my books anywhere.
It was just … I didn`t want to.
“We could get married at your consulate,” I said feeling bad about being the one dragging my feet so much.
Eric pulled me closer. “I like the idea, Sookie.” The way he said it made me realize that he`d already thought of it.
“Yeah, that way both you and I could get married in our home country. Well, sort of, at least.”
Eric`s lips were on mine.
“I love the way you are thinking, Sookie. If we pick up the marriage license today we could get married tomorrow.”
I pulled back. “Can you just go there and get married? Don`t you have to book a time or …?”
“Umm,” Eric said. “It`ll be fine.”
Eric and I got out of bed and went to take a shower. Showering with Eric was definitely in my top 10 of things to do with him. Probably in my top 3 too. Eric made sure I was thoroughly clean and I did the same for him. He also massaged out some knots in my shoulders which made me soften both physically and mentally.
I almost told him I would move back home him but held back at the last moment. I`d just accepted I was getting married the next day. I suppose that was all the yielding I could muster for one morning.
“Are you ready to become a married woman?” Eric asked when we were walking out the door. His lips were smiling but his eyes looked more serious.
“No,” I said with a smile. “But I`m not sure I ever will be.”
“I could persuade you some more,” Eric said with a wink.
“How? Torture?” I let my hand glide over his butt.
“Hmmm, maybe I should try that.” He grabbed my hand and we walked out the door. “I haf my vayz. I vill torture you until you say `I do.`”
I laughed at the Germanic accent and the face he made.
If I were looking for a man with humor, Eric was certainly the right choice. So was he if I were looking for someone sweet and gentle, someone sexy and someone clever. My problem was that I hadn`t been looking for anyone.
I loved Eric – I knew that – and I was going to marry him. I tried to tell myself that it was a good choice – the right choice – and I knew it was. But it would have been an even better choice if I could have postponed it a bit. Like five years or so.
I pinched Eric`s behind. “Let`s get those papers that will make that butt mine until death do us part.”
“My ass is yours already, Sookie.”
And with that we went to City Hall.
A shorty, but that was how it fit the story. Next chapter will be just around the corner.