WEEKLY ONE-SHOT CHALLENGE: WEEK #15 Complete

Theme: Sleeping Beauty

A/N: This is a gentle love story to which all of us who are mothers can, I hope, relate; which all of us who have loving mothers and fathers can, I hope, recall in some way. As always CH's SVM characters aren't mine. I only take them out to play.

Sleeping Beauty

Golden October sunlight streamed down as Sookie wheeled their twins, Adele and Kirsten along a path that wound across the meadows and woods of their property. The meadow's long grasses, still green in the last days of Indian summer, rippled before a cool, gentle breeze. Two sloe-eyed deer froze in unison and stared at them before bounding through the tall grass and vanishing into the shadows of the wood. Kirsten squealed with delight and turned toward Adele. Their eyes met and Adele "oohed" as she twisted her tiny delicate frame, her fern green eyes intent upon the spot where the deer had vanished. Other eyes watched them as well, although the guards were rarely visible. There were always Brigant Fae guarding them during the day and Vamps at night. The girls were supernaturals of great power, Daughters of the Blood, with the heritage of three races within them. There were many enemies in the supernatural world for whom the Northman twins would be a great prize.

Sookie reached out with her mind , lightly touched her daughters', and smiled. They had shared an image of the deer. Kirsten had clearly shared the thought, "pretty" ,with Adele and Adele had clearly responded. Another first! The girls had shared emotions and images since before their birth, but this was their first real word.

She squatted down beside her babies, pointed at the woods, and said aloud. "Pretty deer!"

They needed to hear the words as well as broadcast them. Sookie wanted to make very sure from the beginning that the girls became accustomed to walking in both the supernatural and the human worlds.

Weighing in at twenty-one pounds, Kirsten was ruddy and solid with Eric's piercing blue eyes and a cap of golden curls. She laughed with Eric's wholehearted abandon and delight when she saw her mother and, reaching out with her chubby hand, grabbed Sookie's ring finger and began to gnaw upon it with abandon.

"Ouch! Sweet Pea! Mommy needs that finger!"

Not to be outdone, Adele grabbed her other hand and attempted a gummy nibble. With her fine, platinum hair and her powerful magical register, Adele was a child of the Fae and was her great, great grandfather's darling. Eric and Sookie adored them both, understanding more deeply than many human parents, what a miracle their babies' lives were.

The sharp corner of Kirsten's first tooth was erupting. Sookie scooped the teething toy that Eric had made from her pocket. Kirsten grabbed the fish by its head and began to chew upon its tail while Sookie made sure that the light blanket was tucked around the twins' legs. Then she resumed their walk.

A teething rattle such as this had not been seen in a millennium. She was sure that there was an archeo-anthropogist out there somewhere who would love to grill Eric about its style and manufacture. He had made the fish rattle out of cherry wood and had hand polished it with beeswax to bring out the warm tones and natural grain of the wood.

When he gave them to her for the babies, his accent illuminated the stretch of centuries between the children he had lost and the little ones he now held.

"I made these for all of our children—Aude's and mine. The shape fits well into little hands . We were a sea faring people…so we made a fish."

Being Eric, he had also done his homework! Lest his mate consider the toy out of date by a thousand years, he added, "Of course, we didn't know that wood is a natural anti-bacterial material. And it's all natural—not toxic like plastic!"

Sookie fished a second rattle out of her pocket when Adele and Kirsten became engaged in a tug o war, and shook it in front of Adele. She grinned, grabbed with her tiny hands, and beamed toothlessly when she produced a satisfying Chuckachuckachucka!

Yes, the feared Sheriff of Area Five had made these rattles for his little girls with his own hands. He had made them meticulously, calling forth the knowledge of their making across the years. He had shaped and polished them with infinite love, thanking his gods for the tiny bundles of life that gave these long forgotten objects a purpose again in his life.

When they'd passed the meadow and wandered through a little wood where the last of the season's blackberries lingered, the girls began to chatter like magpies and squirm excitedly. Here was the main event and the reason for their trip! In the center of a tawny field of corn stubble, was a scarecrow like no other in Louisiana. This was Eric's joke and although he had had to explain it to her, the girls began to point and giggle immediately.

Since May, the gaudy effigy had hung in the field and had certainly terrified the birds more effectively than its more prosaic kinfolk. This scarecrow wore a dented replica of a Viking helmet; its burlap head sported a long red wig and a bedraggled faux fur beard. Its lanky body, adorned with a faded red tunic and a tattered red cape, flapped in the breeze. It drooped like an ancient criminal, anchored to its crossties, a rusted sword fixed in its hand.

Eric had installed it himself on a warm spring night and had found the whole production hilarious.

"This is my personal fuck you to Loki, The Trickster! He brought nothing but trouble to my people and to the Aesir. He murdered Odin's son, Baldur the Beautiful, the being most like your god. The Aesir bound him, but even now, he vows that he will be unchained and bring about Ragnarok, the end of this world. Since he brags that he is the greatest warrior, I have put him in my field to defend me , as we used to do, by fighting off the crows that attack my crops!"

Sookie shook her head and smiled recalling his glee. Well if that was the big ROTF back then…I'm glad we have Comedy Central!

She lifted the babies out, supporting one against each hip and picked her way across the stubble to the objects of their desire. Around the scarecrow's corn husk feet sat ten huge, orange pumpkins. Their large, fuzzy leaves had spotted and withered and the twisted umbilical cord of vine had shriveled into a twisted brown husk. The solid, orange pumpkins no longer needed them.

Soon it would be Halloween—Eric's absolutely favorite holiday and he intended to have the largest ones elaborately carved and brought to Fangtasia. Although he had gotten over his Dracula fixation, he still threw one hell of a party!

The babies were too tiny to trick or treat, but they would dress them up anyway, carve the girls' pumpkins, and take pictures. Eric had bought a ridiculously high priced tech camcorder/digital camera for the sole purpose of recording every movement the girls made. Although Sookie had assured him that Claudine and the Were body guards would do a fine job of taking care of two babies for a few hours, she knew that he had plotted out a virtual campaign for their protection for the few hours they'd be gone.

"The only guards you didn't hire are Britlingens!" She'd joked.

Eric had regarded his mate from the corner of his eye, a little smirk tilting his lips, "Don't be so sure I didn't!"

She unfolded an old blanket she'd put in the bottom of the stroller, placed it right up against the pumpkins, plopped down with the babies on her lap, gave the pumpkins a swipe with the edge of the blanket, and let the babies gnaw its smooth surface with gusto.

Just like Vamps on a willing donor and maybe I'm not too far off considering who their daddy is!

Sookie shook her head, both amused and appalled. Sleep deprivation had skewed her sense of humor!

When the babies had ceased to find the pumpkin amusing, she tucked them back into the stroller and headed for home just as the sun was beginning to sink below the tree line.

It had been a busy day and a busy night. Despite the twins' nocturnal disturbances, their sex life wasn't suffering ,which was great. But, all that her body craved now was a couch with lots of cushions , a throw, and sleeping babies.

She managed to collapse upon the couch when Kirsten, ever her father's daughter, woke up and demanded her mother's breast.

As twilight fell, Sookie was half asleep with Adele tucked securely in the crook of one arm and Kirsten latched on but fading fast.

When he entered the living room, Eric found the three of them asleep. Kirsten was snuggled against Sookie's beautiful breast and tiny Adele was tucked against her other arm. He looked upon them with a fierce tenderness: three sets of perfect features, three sweeping sets of lashes, three heartbeats that were his reason for being, the soft, sweet scent of their innocent breath. As he gazed at his Sookie nested with their children, the beauty of his sleeping wife, his soul mate, surpassed the beauty of all the women he had even known throughout his long existence.

He bent, gently kissed each golden head, and waited for his beauties to awake.

**************************************

Please be my Beauty and review : )