Well here we are, come to the end of this journey, started so very long ago it seems. I hope that the words have pleased you, and made you smile, and perhaps made your heart flutter once in a awhile.
It has been my honor,
It was not the same, not the keening of the Banshee, striking terror and piercing the night like a jagged blade, it was a true, plaintive sorrow that cut to your heart and made you wish to weep, not even knowing the source. I kept my blade in my hand, taking no chances on another enemy, likewise bent on revenge for real or perceived transgressions. I tore through the doors, Pam directly behind me, leaving Sookie in Jessica's hands for the moment. But I knew my lover, and I knew she would follow me, and so I took the fore, prepared to again cut down anything that might threaten her.
The sight that met my eyes as they instantly adjusted to the darkness outside the bar from the incandescent glow within was not what I had expected. Another wolf, one familiar to me from the graveyard back in new Orleans, white, yellow eyes, curled around the crumpled form of a Fairy, a Fairy godmother, Claudine. She was sobbing, her milk white face hidden behind her long fingers, dark hair hanging in sheets over her shoulders in a most disheveled look for a creature who had previously looked so perfect. The noise of the doors thudding open brought her face up to meet mine. Tears had streaked it red, but it was still beautiful, in the way Fairy faces and bodies and blood are to all my kind. She tried to hiss at me, but it died on her lips in a choked sob.
"What have you done to her Northman?" She tried to straighten herself, the wolf acting as her strength just then. "There is so much fairy blood in the air, on you, on all of you?" Her eyes darted around to take us all in, because everyone was on the porch of the bar just then, looking at her. It must have been a very fearful sight, even knowing the power she could wield as a full-blood fairy; two Weres, a Witch, three Vampires, and Sookie, most all of us armed with iron implements of some sort. Her wolf began to growl, she brushed its head.
"The Banshee?" I asked, assuming it was who she meant, but not discounting the possibility that it was Sookie.
"Her Name was Geileis, Nightwalker, she was my friend and you have killed her!" Claudine's posture straightened as she found her strength, standing to face me, despite the sword that stood between us. I might not have liked her then, but I could respect her.
"Geileis, your friend came to kill Sookie." I answered her charge.
"She what?" Clearly that action had been unexpected on Claudine's part.
"She came to kill Sookie. She killed Sookie's friend Sam to lure her here."
"I don't understand." The anger began to ebb from Claudine's shoulders as I watched her slump forward again to rest against her wolf Daniel.
"Neither did I till just now."
"Tell me Northman, I need to understand." Her eyes pleaded with me, still rimmed with the red of her salt tears. She kept the wolf between us, but let me approach, after I handed my sword off to Pam that was. I could feel the grip of my child's hunger in her mind; but she was fighting off the urge to feed. Claudine had been correct, the whole of the air smelled of fairy blood, however dilute, and I was impressed with Pam, and even more so with Jessica for being able to control themselves.
"Geileis, she came to kill Sookie because she believed that Sookie would cause your death, yours and your child."
"My child?" shaking hands drifted to her belly, and she looked from it to me, and then to Sookie. "But, no one knows yet, not even the father. I have only just discovered it myself."
"Geileis saw into the future, she saw your pregnancy, and your death, in some kind of Fairy war."
"War?" Her eyebrows and forehead wrinkled in confusion.
"I don't understand it myself, and she gave us precious little information about it."
"It was her gift and her nature, to see into the future." Claudine spoke, but not really to any of us.
"She said that you would die protecting Sookie, and that if Sookie were already dead, that your life would be spared."
"Oh Geileis," she whispered, looking as though she might collapse again. It wasn't I that ran to her though, and I doubt she would have accepted my help anyways, seeing as I was covered in the blood of her friend. It was Sookie who approached, handing me the iron cross as she passed me, holding my hand for a just a second as she caught my eyes and then turned away.
"I doesn't have to be that way now does it?' She whispered to Claudine, the only one of us amongst the group who might not have heard her was Amelia. The wolf backed away respectfully, sensing no harm from my Beauty.
"I don't know Sookie."
"But now that you know, you just don't have to come here, to fight. If you stay in your land you'll be safe won't you?"
"I don't know that either."
"Sookie has enough people here to protect her Claudine." I stepped forward, even as the wolf growled at me; earning himself replies from Trey and Alcide. "Don't risk your life coming back here."
"But she is my charge, I have to watch over her."
"Not anymore, I will care for her now. You trusted me with that care when you pointed me towards the witch who had enchanted her. I take the task from you now. Go." I knew a little about the Fairies, at least about their declining population. My kind had hunted them, many of their kind had chosen human mates; the manner in which Sookie's line was conceived, and I did not doubt that those choices had led to the difficulties they were now facing, (difficulties that had in part, led to the simmering tensions and the war Geileis had intimated).
"Sister!" Came the command, preceded by only milliseconds with the pop of materialization. We all stared at the newcomer, another Fairy, and equally handsome to be certain. "You cannot be in this place, can you not smell the blood around you and see the Vampires who hunger for more?"
"She is dead Claude."
"Who is dead?" He seemed to take little concern at his sister's apparent misery as he took us in.
Even the name did not provoke a greater response.
"Sister you must come away with me now." He looked at all of us, well able to hiss his displeasure. Not that any of us, except perhaps for Sookie and Amelia even flinched. Suddenly the smell of Fairy was even thicker in the air, and I did not know if Jessica and Pam could hold themselves back.
"What am I to do?" She moaned.
"Let something good come out of this Claudine." Sookie told her, "Our friends are lost, but we don't have to be too." She patted the Fairy's arm and I checked back on the ladies, who were holding their ground, albeit tremulously. "I have people to look after me here. Go back home, protect yourself and your child."
"Child?" Came the exclamation from Claude. "You are pregnant Sister?"
"She is Fairy." I stepped in, realizing an opportunity to finally end this. He looked at me, glaring as if he would just as soon roast and eat me, were it possible. "Take her back to Fae and keep her there. Sookie doesn't need her, you can tell your King that."
"I would be most pleased to do just that Vampire." He stepped to his sister and took her hand, pulling it backwards, away from Sookie and away from us. "Hello little cousin." He addressed Sookie.
"Hello?" She offered back, taking in the measure of him. He was beautiful, much in the same way as Claudine. Dark hair, perfect skin, the shade of fresh milk, almond shaped eyes that looked enticing and sexual without any effort on his part. But his mouth, drawn up in a half sneer spoke of his arrogance, and that tainted his beauty so much so that he was not so physically attractive as he could have been.
"Claudine, come home with me. It is not safe for you in this world, not with a child coming. You know that Grandfather would agree. The child is too important," and then finally he seemed to soften as he held her hand, "and so are you."
Then she seemed ready to let him lead her away. She looked at all of us, lingering on myself for a moment too long, not in anger, but pleading without a word that I care for Sookie as I had promised. I nodded to her. Then she gazed at Sookie, tears in her eyes.
"Do not blame Geileis for what she has done in taking your friend and trying to harm you. She did it out of love."
Love? I asked myself quietly. Over a premonition she had killed one man and sought to kill my Sookie, over a future that she could possibly have changed had only she chosen to share it with the right people? I held my tongue, as did Sookie. I knew she could not forgive Sam's death so easily.
The Fairies and their wolf stepped away, and with another crack splitting the night, they were gone from view, forever from this realm if I had any say in it. And then the whole world seemed quiet.
Sookie had a call from the lawyer handling Sam's estate early the following week. She had seemed shaken, but had taken the call none-the-less. I had not reasonably expected her to be over the mention of his absence yet, and so I was sympathetic as she recounted the conversation to me when I woke. While Sam had obviously not known how imminent his own death truly was, it seemed he had made some preparations at some point in the past. Those preparations had involved Sookie. Whatever his understanding of her feelings towards him, his towards her had been obvious in his bequest. He had left her part ownership of Merlotte's, a third, the other two going to Lafayette and Terry. Apparently he had left Arlene the rental home she was living in, so she had been quite pleased and not upset, to hear Sookie recount the lawyer's stories. I asked her what she intended to do with the place, half afraid that she might want to go back and run it, now that she had seen how such things were done at Fangtasia. But her ultimate answer did not surprise me.
"I gave it to Holly and the baby." A smile lit across my face before I could stop it. "I called Mr. Cataliades and asked him to draw up the paperwork. It's what Sam would have done if he had known that he was having a child." I could not help but pull her into my arms just then and embrace her, my heart filled with relief and happiness. We had not talked about her ultimate plans since we had returned from Bon Temps. My initial hopes that she would follow through and move in with me completely had been left to simmer, just so that I could contain the rage that I felt towards the beings who had interfered, dead as they were.
"You aren't upset at me are you Eric?" She mistook for silence for concern.
"Not at all," I stroked her hair, smelling the lilting fragrance of lavender again. "You have made a good choice Sookie. You do not need the headaches of running a bar, and you certainly do not need the money." I tried to laugh, and she curled herself into me again, her warmth coursing over my skin in a delicious shudder.
"I have sworn to take care of you, in all things and in all ways Sookie." I whispered as I leaned in to kiss the top of her head. "I take my responsibilities very seriously." Then she laughed.
"My bed will never be cold then?"
"Well, your bed will never be empty." I countered. "But more than that. Your heart shall never be empty, nor your spirit as long as you permit me to stay with you."
"Right back at you Eric." She grinned, wrinkling her nose, "I'm not much of a poet. Though I do have some other skills,"
"Really? Do tell my Beauty."
"Do show and tell my lover." And she stood, offering me her hand, which I took up in an instant, intending to follow wherever she would lead me that night.
We have been together since, unmolested for the most part by supernatural or mortal. Are there more stories to tell? Of course, but here ends this volume, it is a good place, and my Beauty calls to me from our bed, which she makes warm for me. And I will not deny her.