I do not own these characters, but I am in love with them and Charlaine Harris for creating them.
A/N – This Chapter will complete the story. I hope you all enjoyed it – thanks so much for all the reviews and encouragement. Dawn
The how and why would come in a minute. The fact was that we all knew this to be true. Eric told Russell he would call him back. I thanked Bill and told him the same.
And then Pam and I watched as Eric and Tori moved with vampire speed to get closer - each of them gazing at the other with intensity such as we'd never seen. Eric brought his hand up to stroke her face.
And then she kneeled before him. "Min konung."
He raised her up and kissed her forehead. "Min dotter."
Tears of all kinds flowed – crystal clear and crimson red.
Eric began speaking. "You were a little girl when I left you. How beautiful you have become….."
"Father why didn't you return to us?"
"Know that I would never have willingly left you my daughter. I was commanding a fleet of merchant ships and we were transporting wool and timber in the lands around the Baltic Sea. I disembarked with my second in command to make initial connection with our trading partner. As we walked through a wooded area, he surprised me with a knife at my neck and was able to disarm me and somehow I ended up chained to the forest floor. He left me there to be eaten by beasts. Being rid of me I assume he was able to return to Gamla Uppsala and rise to higher status. I do not know how my absence was explained. Unfortunately, I was found – by the one who became my maker…….."
Tori turned to us. I am Thornbjorg, daughter of Eirik of Gamla Uppsala. I was a child when my father left, but I never forgot him. When I walked into this room and saw the Sheriff, I felt as if I was looking upon my father's face, but could not believe it to be possible. Talking with Pam helped me sort things out."
Pam and I had been watching in stunned silence. Pam explained, "I listened to her story and so much of it matched what I knew about my maker – the time frame, the location, the names. I searched her face again and then the resemblance hit me – it was undeniable".
"Tori continued, "My father was often gone for long periods, so that last time when he left I fully expected him to return. I occupied myself with those activities that I knew would make him proud of me. He knew I preferred swordplay and sports over the activities most little girls were drawn to, and he taught me how to excel at these games. The lessons I learned from him served me well when I became Shieldmaiden and sailed frequently in our Long Boats participating in raids and battles. My last battle as a human was in Essex, England at Maldon. The fighting was fierce and I was separated from my men. I was slightly wounded and covered in blood. As night fell, I found what I thought would be a safe place to lay - to sleep and recover - and that is how I met MY maker…………
The rest of the night passed in a blur, with Eric and Tori sharing reminiscences and comparing histories. They had 1,000 years to catch up on. After a short while, Pam and I left them alone in the office so they could have the privacy they needed – I don't think our leaving was even noticed. After the initial shock, I was feeling such peace and joy from Eric. I think there had been a psychic wound that he had carried for all of these centuries, and as soon as he saw Tori, his wound was healed. Pam and I went to sit in the booth she and Tori had vacated and we spent some time in silence. Each of us mentally sorting through everything and trying to figure out the ramifications.
Pam looked at me. "This is a very unusual situation - unheard of. Vampires do not have 'blood' relatives!".
"Well, really Pam if you think about it, that's exactly what both you and I are also. We're all blood relatives, in one way or another."
She looked at me and smiled – which was another very unusual occurrence……..
Fangtasia had been shut down for the night, so as dawn approached the 4 of us left the bar and decided we would pick up where we left off after sunset. Tori and Eric did not want to part after their amazing reunion, so she came home with us to stay in our light tight guest suite. We settled her in – Eric actually tucked her into bed, stroked her cheek and bent to kiss her lovingly on her forehead. He did everything but read her a bedtime story!
When we finally made it into our room and closed the door behind us, he took me in his arms. "My Lover, I felt you with me throughout this night. Thank you for sending me your love though our bond. I know you understand what this has done to me and for me. This night our new family was born. Tell me how you feel about all of this."
"Eric, who would have ever thought that something like this could be true? I think that somehow Russell figured out who Tori was and sent her to us. I could never have imagined a scenario like we've just experienced. I'm thrilled for you both – it's a miracle that you found each other. And just as your reunion with her is a gift for you, I feel it may also be a gift for me. Your people are my people, your family is my family. We have just increased the love that we have in our lives."
"Jag alskar dig".
"I love you too, my Viking king".
Tori joined our little blood bonded group effortlessly. After just a short time, it seemed as if she had always been a part of us. She and I worked together on the "Little Bites" menu. Her skills as a graphic artist helped us create something really special and the menu was a hit, not to mention a big boost in Fangtasia profits. Word got around in the vampire community about the unheard of turn of events, and Fangtasia has become quite a draw – vamps come from near and far to see the father and daughter vampires. We are quite the unusual foursome – a vampire and his human bonded, his vampire child, and his blood child who is also a vampire. Oh – and a female vampire/vampire love relationship –since Pam and Tori fell madly in love. Whew it can get confusing. Anyway, I guess we are kind of a new age family, and it works well for us. We all love each other.