Author's Note: Here is the epilogue for Fairest of the Fae—thanks so much for following my story. As some of you already know, Better Off Dead and Fairest will come together in a third book, Spilling the Charms, currently in outline form. I hope to have chapters loading soon after the New Year and finished well before the "real" book 9 comes out in early May. Obviously, Charms will make more sense if you have read the first two!
(And thanks to those of you who helped me see that I confused people with my "rising sun" analogy—I meant only that Eric was driving east, since it was Rio herself who suggested they leave Nevada and go to Louisiana; but I see now that the whole "meeting the sun" thing with vamps could be worrisome. I will work on a rephrasing of all that for a future edit. It is so helpful to have your comments!)
Bill Compton answered the phone when it rang; his wife Sookie watched him as he listened for a moment. She felt his irritation through their shared blood as he handed her the phone without speaking a word. Raising an eyebrow at him, she held the phone to her ear. Eric's voice said, "My lover."
Sookie almost snapped at him—he had not called her that for decades, nor was she going to accept it from him now—but something in his tone stopped her.
There was silence on the other end, but Sookie's vampire hearing heard…
"Eric, are you… crying?" Sookie asked in astonishment, trying to remember if she could ever recall Eric shedding a tear.
Eric inhaled shakily. "I… I found her."
Now Sookie was truly confused. She knew Pam had parted ways with Eric some years before, amicably of course. But was Pam missing? She asked, "Who, Eric?" She could feel Bill's eyes on her and his concern came through their bond.
Eric heaved a huge sigh and said, "Your daughter."
Sookie's knees gave way and Bill was there with vampire speed to catch her and put her in a chair. Tears leapt to Sookie's eyes as she struggled to speak: "What? What did you say?"
"I said," began Eric with a hint of his usual short fuse, "I have found your daughter."
"Oh my god. Where? Where is she?" Sookie was sobbing in earnest now, barely able to hold the phone. Bill was kneeling beside her, his strength flooding her, his eyes dark with concern.
Eric forced his voice to be steady. "She is gone. I am afraid Niall has stolen her again."
Sookie felt her anger rising; Eric could always get under her fingernails like this. "Eric, you haven't called me in a year, and now you're playing some sort of game with me?" she demanded.
"Sadly, my lover, this is no game," Eric stated flatly and she knew he was not playing with her. Even in her confusion and distress, she could feel his sadness behind his words. "If Niall does not have her yet, she may be trying to find you," Eric told her.
"She knows about me?"
"Yes. I told her. I have a picture of her and some information to send you. Put Bill on so I can get the upload link."
"May I come to you?"
"Come to me? You mean to England?"
"Yes. It would mean much to me if I could… if we could wait together."
Sookie hesitated. "You want to… wait with me… and Bill… to see if my daughter shows up in England?"
"Do I want to know why?"
"I would prefer to explain in person."
There was something in his voice of that night so long ago, when she'd found him running half naked and lost; he was under a witches spell, had amnesia, and was completely terrified. The mighty Viking had clung to her for strength and understanding, and she had protected and cared for him. She was swirling in memories, plus a rising hope. Her daughter was alive, perhaps on her way to England.
Sookie heaved a sigh, knowing she was going to regret it, and said, "Sure, come on ahead." Then she handed the phone to Bill.