So a couple of weeks ago, a few of us had a very silly conversation on Twitter about Sahm fairies. With Mother's Day coming up, I thought I'd do a little one-shot to say thanks to all the busy ladies out there that take the time to write and beta even though they have so much else on the go. That, and I couldn't resist the idea of talking a little more about the Sahm fairies. They're truly incredible creatures.
Also, there may be some spoilers from the next book in here. Don't read until it comes out if that's a problem for you! I haven't read, but I've been spoiled!
Special props to ethehunter and FDM for a truly hilarious conversation, and to Missus T for betaing!
"Leif, if I have to tell you one more time to stop bothering your sister, you're going to be in big trouble!"
Empty threats. My days were full of them now. Leif was a hellion, and his father encouraged every minute of it.
Claudine looked up at me, her eyes huge and ready to burst forth with a slew of tears. Of the crocodile variety. "Mom, he took my Barbie and cut her head off with the scissors."
Claudine was as into beheading Barbies as her brother. She was just angry that he'd beat her to it.
"Mom, it's time for ice cream!" Leif screamed, tearing into the room, arms outstretched as he wrapped them around my legs. "I love you," he said, looking up at me.
Yeah. He was certainly his father's son.
When I'd been offered a single wish four years ago, after finding a love charm in my attic, I'd taken a long time to decide what that wish might be. I figured I could wish for relief from the ongoing stream of enemies that seemed to come in and out of my life or the ability to rid myself of my telepathy once and for all. I even considered wishing for Eric to be human so we could live out our lives together and get out of the vampire community altogether.
After some careful thought, I knew that I'd never be able to wish for any of those things and be completely satisfied with my wish. There was no way to wish everyone into liking me, and my telepathy was a part of who I was. Human Eric was nice, in theory, but he would have been rather annoyed with me for robbing him of his immortality when I was disinterested in changing for him. Him being a vampire was also good in a lot of ways. He did do a good job of keeping me safe, and the sexing was fantastic. Not that I doubted he would have been good in viking form, but I wasn't sure it was a risk I was willing to take.
So after I figured out that he really did love me and I loved him without the pesky blood bond, I made a decision.
I wanted to be a mother, and despite of all the men in my life, Bill, Sam, Alcide, Quinn, Eric was the one I wanted to share that with. We were friends. I could count on him. He would never abandon me. I knew it wouldn't be forever, just like the possibility of us being together forever wasn't what I wanted, but when I was an old woman, looking back on my life, I wanted to have these memories, a family, a bit of myself to continue on after I was gone.
Eric was a good maker to Pam, and he had a sense of humor, which I figured was important in a father. And he had boundless energy.
So I talked it over with him, and he was incredibly enthusiastic about the idea, since Pam was now Queen of Louisiana and he was able to relax slightly. She and Felipe DeCastro had worked out a fairly strong truce once we'd disposed of Victor.
So even though we knew we'd still have to deal with supe shit now and then, Eric and I sat down on the front porch of the house I'd grown up in, and I made my wish. A year, and five pregnancy tests later, I sat on that same porch and waited for my vampire to arrive.
We'd swapped blood quite a bit since the bond had been broken, so I knew when he was getting close. He'd had a bit of an angry night at Fangtasia, with fits of intermittent anger, balanced with irritation. I knew he had some new vampire working for him, which frustrated him to no end, since he hated training people.
When he landed, I had to admit, I was nervous. I knew we'd discussed it, had copious amounts of sex to ensure it happened, but I'd had my doubts. Vampires didn't reproduce by traditional means. They were dead. I wasn't sure how to feel, now that it had actually happened.
I pulled my knees up to my chest and looked up into the sky just as he landed in front of me, handsome as always, in jeans and a leather jacket, his long blond hair pulled back into a ponytail. I felt better just being around him. I always had.
"Good evening, Lover," he said, a slight purr in his voice. "I tried to get here earlier, but that new bartender I hired can't even make a Bloody Mary. It's one of the most popular drinks. Even Chow could make one, and he could hardly pour draft."
I shrugged and gave him a small smile. "I'm pregnant."
The surprise in his eyes was evident. I guess after a thousand years of no consequences sex, it was a bit shocking. "You will quit your job with the shifter now and move to my house in Shreveport."
I shook my head. "I'll split the difference with you. I'll quit my job, but I'm staying here. I'd like for you to stay here, too."
And that was four years ago.
For a pregnancy made possible by a wish and a dead man, it progressed quite normally. I had a bit of morning sickness and eventually the smells of some things turned my stomach, but I'd never been happier. We realized quite quickly that we were having twins, which wasn't unexpected since multiples seemed to run on the Fae side of my family.
When Claudine and Leif were born, I realized that my dreams of sleeping through the night since a creature of the night had fathered my children were rather unrealistic. First off, he had to run Fangtasia and Area 5, and secondly, perhaps as a bit of his remaining humanity from the Iron Age, he didn't do diapers. He'd feed them occasionally when he got in, if I'd pumped and left instructions. That was helpful, sure, but I hated pumping, so more often than not, it was Eric waking me up to feed the babies.
After three years, I was exhausted. I actually thought back fondly at twelve hour shifts at Merlotte's when I got to come home afterward and sleep through the night. I could sleep in on days off.I'd never thought I'd find anything more challenging than all the work I did for the vamps, but motherhood was a whole different ballgame. These were two little people that needed me all the time. Whose lives I had the ability to shape. It was a hell of a lot of pressure.
In my life before, I had breaks. Time to read a romance novel. I could clean the house and have it stay that way for more than ten minutes. I had the time to enjoy sex, instead of being forced to relegate it to a quickie here, and a very unusual night off there. I hadn't been to Fangtasia for well over a year. I tried to make it to Merlotte's to visit every few months but usually it was with the twins in tow. They both loved the chicken fried steak. And Sam.
The twins were both blond with blue eyes and looked completely angelic. And they were, when they were sleeping, but that was really the only time. They kind of took after Eric and I in every way, constantly getting into trouble, only on a much smaller scale, like eating Lego, and sliding down the banister.
Despite the stressful days, I loved being a mother more than anything. I wouldn't have traded it for the world.
It was a hot night in June, and I'd just tucked the kids into bed when Eric got home. The shorter nights meant that he had to get a lot more accomplished at work, and that we saw him less while he was awake.
He leaned on the doorframe and smiled at me. "How was your day?"
I nodded weakly. "It was okay. I'm just tired."
He nodded and pulled me into his arms, before kissing me hard. "I think I can wake you up, Lover."
I sighed. In the past, that would have been true, but I really valued my five to six hours now. I'd managed to squeeze in an hour of reading earlier, and it had been the highlight of my day. "Maybe Jason can watch the kids tomorrow night, and we can..."
Eric put his hand up. "I have a more long-term solution, Lover. I know you've been exhausted and have no time to yourself these days. I remember how much you used to enjoy tanning and reading those ridiculous romance novels. If you're going to live a normal human lifespan, I want you to enjoy it." He poked his head out the door. "Avin, Fiorello, come and meet your new mistress."
I looked at him oddly. "Eric, I swear, if you brought home puppies, I will stake you myself. The kids aren't old enough to take care of puppies, and it'll just be more work for me."
He chuckled. "Lover, I would never name puppies after flowers. They would have names like Thor or Freya. Maybe Odin. Never after flowers. People respect me."
I raised an eyebrow. "Right."
I blinked twice as two miniature people, maybe three feet tall, appeared in front of me. Both of them were tiny, with long dark hair and clear blue eyes. They resembled tiny versions of Claudine and Claude.
I rubbed my eyes, unsure of what I was seeing. "Eric, what..."
He smiled and patted my back. "I don't know why I didn't think of this before. They're Sahm fairies, from Ireland."
The two tiny people in my kitchen looked up at me and grinned. "We're here to help, Mistress Sookie. Our reason for being is to help out stay at home moms. We know it's an incredibly difficult and important job, but we're up to the task."
I looked between the tiny people, and Eric, slightly confused. "Sahm fairies?"
Eric grinned. "We have to pay them in blackberries, but only a few a day. They have very small appetites. I will have the attic turned into their quarters. Are you pleased?"
"What do they," I shook my head when I realized it was rude not to address them. "What do you do?"
The female one, who I figured out was Avin, started counting on her fingers, her voice tiny, but strong. "We do laundry, dishes, cleaning, gardening, bath time, nap time, cooking, as long as you don't like lemons in your food, and Fiorello is particularly good at balancing checkbooks. Basically whatever you need."
Fiorello looked up at Eric, a fierce look on his tiny face. "I demand five blackberries a day, Viking."
Eric sighed and shoved his hands in his pockets. "The arrangement was for four, and my protection. We'll discuss a raise after a few months, depending on your performance."
"So, ya'll just do everything I do?"
They nodded. "You can do some things if you enjoy them, but we are capable of running a household."
"So, if I want to cook dinner, you'll do the dishes?"
"And if I want a nap, you'll play with the children?"
"And you'll do the laundry?"
"I'm particularly skilled at laundry," Avin piped up.
Eric smiled at the stunned, yet pleased expression on my face. "And if she wants to sleep in, after a boisterous night of lovemaking with her husband?"
"No problem!" Fiorello exclaimed, obviously gunning for his raise already.
I looked at Eric, and then at the fairies, and gave a little squeal. "When can you start?"
"We started at midnight. We've already planted the carrots, radishes, and spinach for the fall harvest."
Eric smiled. "I know you had great plans to grow vegetables until the twins ripped up your garden last month. They'll tend to the garden. I know you like cooking with lemon, so I've purchased a lime tree as an alternative." He leaned over and whispered in my ear, "and there's a full supply of lemons in the basement if they misbehave."
I looked up at him, my stomach turning a little from my past Fae experience. "Do they misbehave?"
He shook his head. "Sahm fairies are the most obedient of all fairies. They're really happiest in a household. I've never heard of anyone having problems with them. These two come with impeccable references as well, from the Queen of Denmark."
"But did any of them live in a household with two children with first generation Viking DNA?"
Eric laughed. "No. But we'll just up their salary if they have issues. I think I can afford a few more blackberries. They're very easy to get along with, and they like the climate here." He patted Fiorello on the head. "Don't you?"
He growled at Eric. "Viking, you'll watch your hand if you know what's good for you."
"He's feisty. It's why I picked him. I thought he'd be a good match for Leif." Eric chuckled. "You two have your orders?"
They nodded. "What are their orders?" I asked curiously.
"They're going to clean all night and wake up with the children and make them a healthy breakfast, so you and I can enjoy the rest of the evening. You'll still have to go grocery shopping, because we can't very well have them wandering around Bon Temps. Can you imagine the jealously?"
I nodded. Arlene would hate me more than anything if she knew about the Sahm fairies. Tara too. "I'll never tell a soul."
"We must send Pam a gracious thank-you note. She arranged for their passage from Ireland. They have to travel in burlap sacks on ships because they're terrified to fly. Something about the salt water is also problematic, but the burlap protects them. I think there are only five or six families in North America with them."
I stood on my tiptoes and kissed Eric's cheek. "Thank you, so much. I don't even know what to say."
Eric nodded. "I think many underestimate how challenging child rearing is. I didn't experience it when I was human, but Pam was a real handful for many years. Really the first hundred. She would have aged me significantly, if I aged. Our children are just as spirited as she was in those early days. You're a wonderful mother, Sookie, and because of that, this is something you deserve. We'll still be able to parent the children as wish, but we'll have more time to do it without the pressures of every day life weighing down on us. This is a gift for both of us."
I squealed once more, as Eric scooped me up into his arms and carried us to the master bedroom in the basement. I'd rarely gotten to spend the night with him down there. One of us always had to leave, me to the room near the children, or him from my room to the basement for his daytime rest.
Three months later...
"Claudine, this is just beautiful," Eric said, beaming proudly at his daughter's artwork. She'd painted a family portrait, complete with Avin, Fiorello, and Odin, the Great Dane puppy I'd finally given into a month ago.
"It's for your office, Daddy," she said, wrapping her arms around his legs. "And I made one for Auntie Queen Pam." She held up another one, featuring Pam in a lavish throne room with a jewel encrusted crown on her long blonde hair.
He patted her head. "I'll be sure to mail it to her from work tonight." He smiled over at me, as I helped Leif with his piano lessons. He'd decided he wanted to learn, so we'd both begun taking lessons in our free time. I'd actually picked it up quite quickly, which was good because it gave me time to help Leif if he needed it. "Where are the fairies?"
"They're harvesting the carrots, and then I gave them the evening off. I'm going to take the kids to Merlotte's for dinner once you go into work for the evening."
He nodded, coming over to kiss me good evening. "Perhaps I will join you. I haven't struck fear into the heart of the shifter for a while. Staked my territory."
I rolled my eyes. "Your children do a good job of that, singing your praises to anyone that'll listen. Dad is always bigger, stronger, smarter and cooler than everyone."
"I cannot help that they are intelligent." He smirked. "It is also time for us to discuss Avin and Fiorello's raises. I'm thinking an extra two blackberries a week, plus an extra blackberry for every day they work over twelve hours."
I snorted. "Eric, don't be so stingy."
"The Queen of Denmark was only paying them two a day. I doubled their salary when they agreed to work for me." He frowned. "You don't want to devalue their wages."
I couldn't believe I was negotiating my saviors wages in blackberries with the vampire father of my children. "Two extra blackberries a day. Avin painted the back of the house yesterday. I would have had to pay someone a lot to do that." I lowered my voice. "We have sex four times a week. Four times! We didn't have that much sex before we had children."
He chuckled, as I brushed my hand up his shirt and along his hipbone. "Fine. But we're not renegotiating for a year."
"Fine. But I want to give them two weeks of vacation, and I want to build them a little house. I have some of my money from Claudine left."
He rolled his eyes. "They'll never take it."
"I want to offer it. They give so much." I thought about how much less stressful my life had been since they'd come into it. Sometimes it was like they weren't even there, I'd just look around and the house would be clean and dinner would be on the table, and I'd have clean underwear. Sometimes they even online shopped for me, and I'd come home to things I liked in my closet that I'd never seen before. I had no complaints. My children were happy, and the time we spent together was nice and relaxing because my mind wasn't on a million other things. I'd even begun chronicling the supe adventures of my youth. It had started as one book, but I knew it had the potential to become a whole series. I never would have had time to write if it wasn't for the Sahm fairies.
I left the kids with Eric so he could clean them up for Merlotte's and went out to tell Avin and Fiorello the good news. As Eric said, they were out picking carrots in the dusk, giggling with one another.
I knelt down in the garden beside them. "I have some good news. It's raise time."
They both clapped their hands. "Yay!"
I had to admit, their enthusiasm could be annoying, but it was usually infectious. Today I clapped along. "I got you two extra blackberries a day, and two weeks of vacation, and I'm going to build you your own house."
Avin's lip started to wobble. "Mistress Sookie, do you think us ungrateful?"
"The blackberries are one thing, but the rest? Have we let you down? Do you think that we'll work harder if we're paid more?" Fiorello looked at me, crestfallen. "Mistress, we work very hard."
I looked at them, confused. "You do work very hard. I wanted to reward you for that. That's why I offered those things. You don't have to work any harder than you are. Just keep on doing exactly what you're doing."
Avin wiped her eyes, and blew her nose into her sleeve. I really hated when she did that. "Really?"
I nodded. "Yes, really."
Fiorello crossed his arms. "Is this some sort of trick?"
I shook my head earnestly. "No trick."
His lip began to wobble. "Thank you, Mistress. Perhaps we'll visit our family in Oregon. I have a sister there and Avin a cousin."
"That would be fine. Just tell us a bit before you want to go." I stood up, really happy that I was able to give them such a simple, yet meaningful gift. "Enjoy your night off."
It was six months later that the Sahm fairies took their vacation. Me and the kids waved them off from the porch as they piled their suitcases into the private car we'd called for them.
It was ten minutes before my life once again fell into chaos. Clothes and toys decorated the house from one end to the other. I had nothing to cook for dinner but Alphaghetti, and Eric didn't have any clean socks.
I managed the two weeks, but really wondered how I'd done such an enormous job for the three years before they'd come into my life. By the time the driver dropped them off, I was starting to wonder if they'd been a figment of my imagination after all. It was nearly ten when they arrived and I exhaled loudly as I saw their tiny smiling faces at the door, with a box of wine in hand.
They knew I'd need more than a bottle. I wiped my eyes and hugged them both. "I missed you both so much."
They burst out into tears. "We missed you, and the laundry, and cleaning. Especially the laundry. I hope there's some good stains." Avin looked around and got a little emotional. "Thank you, Sookie, for leaving so much for us."
I bit my tongue. I'd straightened up for them coming home. "Oh, you're welcome."
Within four hours, everything was back in its place, laundry was in the machine, and dinner for tomorrow was prepped. I'd even had time to shave my legs and crack the box of wine before Eric returned home from Fangtasia.
I wondered if I could get a temp Sahm fairy for their next vacation.