I Write The Songs entry (see my profile for a link on the details)

TITLE: Somewhere

CHARACTERS:
Eric and Sookie Pairing

Pam, Thalia, Karin, Bubba and some new characters

DISCLAIMER:
Charlaine Harris owns the characters included in the following story. The song, Somewhere is from West Side Story and I also own nothing of theirs.

PEN NAME:
magsmacdonald

BETA NAME:
murgatroid-98

VIRGIN WRITER : YES / NO
No

TEASER:

Almost 100 years after Eric left for Oklahoma, he's been kidnapped to a hidden location for a last goodbye.

Somewhere

"Master." Pam stated and bowed deeply.

"Pamela. It's good to see you. I can't believe it's been almost a hundred years." He embraced her and her eyes went wide at his action, but she said nothing about the hug.

"Come, we must hurry to get you to the secure location." They got into a small Mercedes with darkly tinted windows and Pam sped out of the private airfield parking lot.

"Pam, have you heard from Oklahoma?"

"Several messages, but nothing traces you to me. All the trails lead to Louisiana and I haven't been there for years."

"Where have you been spending these years?"

"After fulfilling your Sheriff contract, I moved to New York for a few years; then I left the states. I spent about 25 years in Sweden at your home there." She glanced his way then back out to the road. "I felt . . . more connected to you there."

"I have missed being together as well."

"I made frequent trips around Europe since your home is Sweden is pretty isolated. I met up with Karin in France for a while. She sends her regards, but is unsure she can make the trip for fear of it appearing suspicious. Same with Maxwell; he fears he would be followed."

"That makes sense. I don't want any of you punished for this, so we must be vigilant." Pam nodded in agreement. "Thalia, Maxwell, Karin, me: we are the only vampires that know. Oh, and Bubba."

"BUBBA?" Eric's faced looked confused and amused at hearing the vampire's name.

"He mourned her death too much so Karin had him kidnapped, sealed in a coffin and flown to stay with her. He's been there ever since. Never leaves the house except to feed."

His mouth hung open for a moment before he could reply. "I didn't know he liked her that much."

"He was a mess." She let the statement hang while she cursed and maneuvered though a tricky traffic roundabout. "How they never got rid of roundabouts with all the other changes to transportation, I will never figure it out. Leave it to The European Kingdom to stay behind the times." She leaned out the window as she passed another driver and yelled. "USE YOUR INDICATORS IDIOT!" He laughed at her rant for a few minutes. When he calmed down Pam continued. "So, back to my travels: Thalia called me to join her in London about 20 years ago when they heard Jason had died. Thalia thought I might be able to help her with the depression." She continued more quietly, "I like to think I helped."

He changed the subject, saving Pam from the sadness he felt through their bond. "And how has Thalia enjoyed London all these years?"

"She suffered quietly for her charge's sake."

"Part of me is surprised, but a bigger part is not. I can't believe you were able to hide her . . . all these years." He sighed at the thought.

"It really was Karin and Thalia. They put the plan together and executed. I didn't realize what had really happened until I left Louisiana."

"Karin? She didn't even like her."

"Don't make assumptions, opinions change."

His eyes were wide in surprise, but he ignored that comment. Instead he focused back on the purpose of his trip. "Does she know I'm coming?" His hands went through his hair, indicating he was stressed at the topic a bit.

"No. I simply couldn't be sure that you would make it and she didn't deserve a disappointment. Not now."

More quiet time passed as Pam drove. He broke the silence with the question that most concerned him. "How long?"

"You got here in time, but just. Ludwig said she's down to days and she refuses blood."

"Why does she refuse blood now? It's kept her alive for longer than a human life."

"She and Thalia exchanged only once a year for the bond. I'm not sure if it was the blood or her bit of fairy lineage and the spark that kept her alive. She has refused any more blood because she . . ." Pam took an unneeded breath to continue "she is simply ready Eric." He ignored the crack in Pam's voice. It was hard enough keeping his emotions under control.

"What does Ludwig think kept her alive so much longer?"

"She also is not sure."

"I can't believe Ludwig moved to London, and she's still alive. She was as old as dirt when I first met her."

"She was part of the original plan."

He shook his head not realizing. "I don't know if either of us knew the number of friends we had."

"Have, Eric. Friends you have." She gripped his hand to emphasize the point. To lighten the mood, she responded to Eric about Ludwig's longevity since she had a theory. "As for Ludwig being alive, who the hell knows how long elves actually live. I think whatever divine afterlife is out there doesn't want her, but they know she doesn't deserve hell. They're just keeping her here instead." He chuckled; Pam hadn't changed.

His eyes turned to the road for a few moments and he wondered where they were headed. "Where is the safe house?"

"Whitchurch, Northwest of London. Since your plane landed on the East side, we have to practically cross the city to get there, we have a long drive."

They drove for about two hours, weaving in and out of traffic, watching the view change from city to suburbs and finally rolling hills and farm fields. As they approached a small brick house, Eric smiled and pointed at the thatch roof. "She wanted that, didn't she?"

"Yes. Thalia argued about security but Sookie won since the house is just a top layer and all the living quarters are secure under this façade. She did enjoy the gardens though, with a guard of course."

He got out of the car and looked around noticing that only farmland surrounded the small house. "It's so isolated."

"It had to be for her safety." The answer was delivered as fact, but she knew he was concerned about the impact that isolation had on her. "She's been lonely, I won't lie."

He nodded in recognition of the words, but said nothing. He'd been lonely too even while surrounded by dozens.

They approached the door and he stood motionless wondering if this was right; if his presence was fair to her. As if reading his mind Pam took his arm in her hand and squeezed. "If she had the choice about your being here or not, she would've chosen for you to come. I'm sure of it." She led him into the house. "Oh, and don't forget she took the name Aude when the . . . the accident happened."

He'd been told about her name change by his Oklahoma liberator, but the name still stuck in his throat when he thought about it. It was almost as if she wanted him to find her. Well, now he finally found her thanks to friends, and they only had days left if Ludwig was right. The year was 2102 and he was here to say goodbye to Sookie.

He'd been warned about her physical decline and to prepare him fully Pam had discretely taken a picture of Sookie so he could see her before being physically with her. She was thin, skin and bones actually. The skin he could see was grey, not the beautiful bronze she always worked to achieve. Her hair was still long, but almost white and somewhat sparse. When she turned to see who had entered the room, she smiled widely and his heart burst. He had never seen anything so beautiful in his life. Whispering her name, her real name he moved to the edge of the bed. "You came. I'd h . . . hoped" she sobbed out. He gently wrapped his arms around her shoulders planting his face in the crook of her neck and his tears joined hers. They stayed still for a long while, just holding each other until he finally found his voice. "I've missed you Lover."

"I've missed you too." Her voice was strained, but he could hear her fine. "How long can you stay in England? When do you need to return?"

He looked up from her shoulder, his face covered in red from his own tears. "I'm not leaving you. I'll be here, as long as it takes." His words were like a balm to her and she let another tear escape, but she didn't break down again. "Do you need anything Sookie?"

"Just you. Help me move over so you can lay with me?"

"Of course." When he reached to move her, he realized the skin and bone assessment he'd made was accurate. She couldn't have been 80 pounds, and that was mostly many layers of clothes, he guessed they'd dressed her that way for warmth. "Will I make you too cold?"

"You can ask Rhys to make a fire in the room. That'll warm me up enough. I want you next to me."

"Ok, let me find him."

Once the fire was burning, Eric laid on his side while Sookie was on her back looking up at him. "Eric, how did you get out? How did you find me?"

"Maxwell Lee arrived in Oklahoma about 5 years ago and last night his purpose was finally made known. He's been waiting for a signal from Pam to take action. He actually had me kidnapped so I could appear blameless if I wanted to return. Up until he kidnapped me, I believed you were dead, as did Freyda, but I guess that was the point of the ruse." Sookie nodded. Eric's focus moved to the ceiling as he recalled the memory of Sookie's death. "I remember the announcement of your death at court. She rejoiced in telling me the news, the cunt, and I never hated her more than at that moment. Of course she doubted the information so she had the reports confirmed. The body found in your burnt car - the identification was confirmed and no glamour was involved, or at least no glamour was found. How did Thalia do it?"

"She found a girl, similar to my stature, already dying of cancer so she agreed to the staged death in exchange for payment to her husband. The woman had no life insurance and they had a small child. With Thalia's arrangement, her family would be solid financially. She died her natural death and her family buried her before Thalia exhumed the body to use. Thalia had already swapped my dental records when she first found the girl so we just waited. It started to get scary when she was still hanging on and I was in my ninth month of Karin's protection. Waiting to fake the death in my last month with Karin would've looked suspicious." She shifted a bit before continuing. "Anyway - when we had the body, Thalia and Karin faked the car accident and Thalia smuggled me out of the country. After a month on the run to be sure we weren't followed, we settled here. I had a new address and a new identity."

"You picked Aude because. . ."

"It was a silly wish that . . . that maybe you would find me." His dead heart lurched and he started to reply but she stopped him. "I said it was a wish. I had been informed you fully believed that I was dead. It wasn't an expectation." He nodded rather than saying anything. "Can we . . . can we talk about what happened, I mean the days surrounding the divorce? Well, you should know Pam explained some of it years later, but I still want to hear it from you and I want to tell you my perspective."

"Is that really what you want to discuss?"

"It's been eating at me all these years. The way I threw you out, didn't try to understand." She shook her head at the memory. "I can't go with that on my conscious."

"Very well, let me put another log on the fire." He rose to tend to the fire then returned. After they were situated again on the bed, he began telling her all that he'd kept secret from many years ago: What really happened the days just before and after their divorce and separation. "At this point I gather you truly realized I never had a choice. Only Felipe could overturn the contract as my King and he refused. He wanted you, and he knew as long as I was around that would never happen."

"I'm aware of that; actually I have been for years. I just had trouble accepting it."

"I was wrong though about . . . well everything in terms of discussing it with you. When I finally realized I was wrong, things were already spiraling out of control. For many weeks before the breakup I lived in denial. I wanted you, I wanted out of the contract and for a while I foolishly believed I could have what I wanted so I kept you out of the loop. I thought I was sparing you from the drama and worry."

She moved her hand to take his. "And I wanted to know what was going on. Every time you went quiet, I got bitchier until we exploded."

"Yes, by the time I realized I was really in trouble, the wedge was already there between us and it was driven in deeper after you saved Sam. I felt you didn't want to fight for me, for us."

She looked down, away from his gaze. "Yeah, I blew that one. I've kicked myself a million times over that."

"But you had Sam after we split."

She snorted. "That was a disaster."

"What do you mean? I was not informed of much yet. The last I knew you were a couple."

"Sam and I did NOT work well together. Can we leave it at that?"

"Not quite – did he hurt you?"

"Not physically and not out loud." His face showed confusion at his words. "He put on a good face, but a few weeks into our relationship, his thoughts were uncontrolled. I was heavier than Jannalynne, he focused on feeling like he was leftovers, and when we were intimate he thought I wasn't that good of a lover. Stuff like that. You know all the reasons why I could never have a lover that I could hear telepathically."

"I'm sorry. I thought you had some months of comfort from Sam before the accident."

"It was long ago, and really, I don't want to spend time on Sam. We don't have much . . . time that is. We also got off topic."

"Very well. Anyway, once I knew the inevitable, I needed to ensure your safety as much as possible. When you threw me out . . ." She cringed "I knew I couldn't sneak you into Oklahoma as a mistress. I'm sorry I proposed that, I just . . . I just wasn't ready to give you up. Anyway, I bargained for your safety as much as I could . . ."

She cut him off. "At a huge cost to you; you had to commit to another 100 years."

"It was necessary. After the contract details were determined, I ordered Pam to inform you that my safety considerations had nothing to do with my feelings for you. I wanted you to hate me."

"WHY!? I mean, Pam tried to explain that when she showed up here, but I want you to tell me."

"So you could move on as much as possible with Sam. I had no idea that Thalia and Karin would mastermind your escape from Felipe so quickly that you and Sam wouldn't have had a chance anyway. I guess they got buzz that he was going to pounce right after that first year?"

"Yes, a spy of a spy of a spy, if you will, got word to Thalia."

"How is that?"

"Stan had Barry at a meeting in Nevada. He overheard the plans from a Were - he'd really increased in his telepathy strength - Barry told Stan, who told Isobel, who told Thalia."

"Why is it so many vampires and people were in our corner, and we couldn't get our head's out of our asses?" The comment caused them to laugh out loud for the first time since he walked in the room.

"Stubborn meet obstinate." They laughed some more.

"You look pretty tired, is there anything else you want to discuss about our divorce?"

"No, I think I do need a nap. The room is light tight, will you stay with me?" When he hesitated, she added "Rhys and my day nurse, Violet, are both Weres and you can confirm with Thalia, but they can be trusted."

"I'll stay; we should just switch sides on the bed so they can get to you easily during the day. I'll move you now and visit with Pam while you nap, if that's OK."

"Oh goodness yes! Go spend time with Pam. When you go back, you won't see her again for years."

"One more thing before I go."

"Go on."

"Sookie, will you take some of my blood? I want to feel you again."

She smiled at him. "Of course. I wish I could feel you."

"If we exchange now and before I go to rest today, we can complete two exchanges right away. If we exchange again tonight, we can complete a bond and you can feel me too."

"I'd like that." Her smile was bright, and for a moment the dazzle in her eyes was reminiscent of a 25 year old Sookie. His responding smile was just as bright. They exchanged a very small amount of blood, just using a prick on the finger and he closed her wound. He couldn't believe after all these years and her failing health she still tasted as sweet as he remembered. Whatever preserved that sweetness must have been the same thing that enabled her scent to stay appealing, even this close to death.

For Eric, the feelings he got almost immediately were faint, since it was only the first exchange, but the feelings were there. He sighed with relief; the link to his Lover that had been gone for far too long was back. He started to get up but stopped. "Can I give you a kiss for sweet dreams?"

She smiled. "You may."

He placed a chaste kiss on her lips and moved her to the side of the bed closer to the door and the sink in the room, positioning her on her side as she requested. When he got back in on the other side, she looked at him questioningly. "What are you doing?"

"I will stay with you until you're asleep." He tucked into her and gently rubbed her back. When he could tell she was out, he kissed her forehead and left the bed with a final whisper. "Sweet dreams Lover."

Sookie did wake once again before his day rest but not for long. Eric helped the nurse with her duties for Sookie, they exchanged blood again and then both went to rest.

When Eric rose the next night, Sookie was asleep with him. She'd been changed, so he knew she had woken for some part of the day. When he stirred she roused from the movement. "I'm sorry I woke you."

"I'm glad I'm up. I want to spend as much time as possible together."

"You seem perkier."

"Your blood I'm sure." She bit her lip while she thought about a request she had.

"What do you want to ask Sookie? I can tell you're nervous about something."

"I want a real bath."

"A real bath? I don't see why not."

"I've had only sponge baths for weeks. I want to get in the tub and your blood makes me feel a bit stronger, but I obviously can't do it alone and I want you to help me. Will you?"

"Of course. Let me prepare, then I'll come back for you."

When he returned, he had towels and bath products in his hands. "I'll fill this tub and come back for you. Rhys will wait in here while I bathe you just in case." He chuckled. "I don't think anything will happen that I can't handle, but he wouldn't relinquish that control."

She gave Rhys a smile. "He's been with Thalia and me for years. I guess he's just a little protective." Rhys nodded at her statement.

After a few minutes, he appeared back in the bedroom and he started to undress her. When her shirt snagged in a necklace, he went to unclasp it. "STOP!" She yelled.

"What?"

"Just untangle it. Don't take the necklace off, it never comes off."

"Ok." He figured the necklace had some sentimental value to Sookie, so he would respect her wishes. When he handled it to untangle the chain from her sweater, he froze. "Sookie, is this the bullet from Dallas?" Tears started before she could finally answer yes. "You've had it all this time?"

"Yes. I had it made into a necklace after you left and I haven't had it off since. It was a part of you I could keep with me." He was still frozen, unbelieving that the bullet he'd trick her to remove from his chest had become a remembrance of him for her. "Eric, I'm getting cold."

"Sorry min älskade. I was distracted." He finished stripping her and moved her to the tub. "Maybe I'm jealous you had something tangible. I could only pack my Buffy DVDs to take with me. Something Freyda never understood."

She laughed out loud at that comment. "You're serious?"

"Deadly." More laughter.

While he washed her, she asked about the bond. "Are you still OK with completing the bond?"

"OK? I'm eager for it. I never stopped missing it."

"Eric, I'm so. . ."

"No more apologies, no more regrets. Let's just enjoy this time."

She nodded in agreement after a moment.

He washed her quickly so she wouldn't get cold and dressed her in a clean nightgown. Once back in bed, they completed the bond. Again, they only needed a small amount of blood but the effect was instantaneous. "Oh Eric, I had forgotten what it felt like. I'm not alone."

"We're not alone." Eric sealed his words with a kiss. Her lips had lost their plumpness, but kissing her was the same as he'd remembered it. He peppered her face and neck with kisses before he pressed his forehead to hers. "God I missed you."

"I know the feeling. I mean, Aude has NEVER had sex."

"NEVER? In all these years?"

"Nope. And I'm afraid to say she won't. I enjoyed that, but Eric . . ."

"Sookie, that's not what I'm here for. I just couldn't help but kiss you."

"Well, THAT you can do again."

"Oooh, is that blanket permission then?" She giggled. "Now min älskade, you need a nap. I can see and FEEL you're a bit weary."

"Ok, come back later."

"Of course."

Later that night, they were snuggled back in the bed and Sookie asked Eric about her books. "Did you ever read my books?"

"No. Jackson told me that you took up writing historical fiction."

"Who is Jackson?"

"Oh, I never told you about my kidnapping or rather rescue. Tell me about your books first."

"Yeah, I want to hear about your kidnapping. As for my books, well I needed something to do and Thalia encouraged it. I had nothing but time and the garden so I could research a period of history fully; then pull together a story that fit in. Of course, we had a local woman as the 'face' of the books seeing that I couldn't meet with a publisher or have my photo taken for a cover. The woman was paid well, and I got the enjoyment of writing. The editor figured it out while working on the second book and she worked with me over the phone keeping the anonymity we required. We became friends, though we never met in person. Even after I wrote my last book, she kept calling just to talk. It was nice."

"You've been lonely, Pam told me."

"Better lonely than a slave to Felipe. I adjusted my hours so I was up more with Thalia. While she was friendly enough, she wasn't a friend or confidant. We did at least play some chess together, which helped. I did have a Were guard during the day, but he was guarding, he didn't have time to sit and talk. Things picked up when Pam arrived, she really dedicated her time to me and I'm forever grateful. Finally when I got sick about 5 years ago Rhys and Violet moved in and I had daytime friends." He hugged her, hoping to provide her as much comfort in her last days as possible. After a few minutes she asked him something he had hoped to avoid. "Tell me about Oklahoma." She felt him stiffen. "I'm sorry Eric. I shouldn't ha. . ."

"No, I'll tell you . . . some." It was time he wanted to forget, but he would share some since she asked. "It was as I expected; I was her toy. You knew before we parted that I was to be her consort, not a king, not part of her royal court in a working capacity. I stood behind her and to the left, looking pretty as she said. She wanted my muscle, my reputation, and my body for her pleasure. Well, I can assure you, much to her dismay; she only got the pleasure part once a year, as per the contract."

"Oh, I bet she didn't like that."

"Not a bit." He chuckled at the memory. "She threw a tantrum every time I denied her until she finally realized I wasn't going to cave. She didn't bring the contract up for review because she didn't want the embarrassment of a husband that didn't want to touch her."

"You were lonely too."

"I was lonely. I had only memories . . . and of course Buffy." She giggled at his comic relief.

"Tell me about your kidnapping."

"I don't even know all of it. I woke up for the day, on a plane with Jackson Herveaux, Alcide's son. Somehow Maxwell arranged to get me out of the palace."

"YOU'RE KIDDING!? How old is he? He has to be too old to be on a kidnap and rescue mission."

"I'm not kidding, Weres live longer lives, remember?" She nodded. "The Shreveport pack exiled to Mississippi when all the Were shit started."

"Oh, I remember, Packmasters started reporting to the Vampire Kings and Queens."

"Yes, and Alcide moved the pack before it took effect. He wanted nothing to do with Felipe and he negotiated what he needed from Russell. Anyway, many years later that gave his son, Jackson, the freedom to plan with Maxwell before Maxwell came and pledged fealty to Oklahoma. He, too, knew what to do when they got the signal from Pam. Pam orchestrated the whole thing about 5 years ago when you got sick. She wanted us to be together again, even if it was just for a few days."

"I can't believe all the stuff everyone did for us."

"Jackson told me he did it for his father, and the affection he knew he carried for you all his years."

"Not just Jackson but Maxwell, Pam, Thalia, Karin, and dear Bubba."

I know min älskade, I know."

"What does that mean, what you're calling me?"

"It's Swedish for My love. It took us so many years to finally get here, but I want there to be no mistake now. I love you Sookie, always have and always will."

"I love you too Eric. I never stopped."

Two more nights passed and Sookie had shifted her sleep to occur more during the day so she could stay awake with Eric at night. In kind, Eric pushed himself to ignore the dawn as long as possible each day. They filled their time with Eric reading one of Sookie's books aloud. He, of course, chose the Viking inspired book. It was her 4th published, but the first one she wrote. "I published my first book too close to my fake death, and Thalia and I feared a Viking book could cause suspicion. But a Viking book after one about Ancient Egypt, the American Revolution, and the fall of the Roman Empire wouldn't stand out."

"Smart thinking."

He picked at her history facts in the book while he read, but only to see her get her fur up; they snuggled - as attached as possible; and she slept only when she couldn't keep her eyes open any longer. In short, they made the most out of the time they were given; and that time was short. As Eric observed Sookie, he could see the blood from their exchanges was not having much of a lasting effect. It was evident that her body was giving up. Ludwig confirmed it when she visited the fourth night. Her time was close, so close, that Ludwig said her final goodbye before leaving (not that she made it evident to Sookie).

On the fifth night since Eric's arrival, Sookie turned to him. He knew she had something serious to say. He'd been feeling apprehension, sadness, and determination from her as he'd bathed her. "I'm tired Eric."

"I know min älskade, I know. I can feel it."

"Eric. I want you to do something for me."

"Anything."

"I want you to drain me before you go to rest in the morning."

"Sookie?"

"I'm ready, and I want to die in your arms while you're awake. Don't let me die during the day without you." He shook his head. "Please Eric."

He was quiet while he thought and finally he agreed. "I'll do this for you." Wanting to change the subject from her impending death, he reached for the book on the nightstand. "We have time to finish this."

"Good. I like how that one ends."

When they finished the story, Eric asked if they could just snuggle together and enjoy the feeling of being next to each other. Sookie agreed; she couldn't think of a better way to spend her last hours. They'd been that way for about 2 hours, just little kisses, soft caresses and the occasional tickle until they were interrupted: Pam burst into the room. "Freyda just landed at Gatwick."

Eric was instantly on alert; concerned for all their friends. "Can she make it here by dawn? That is if she knows where we are?"

"She'd be pushing it. I think we have until nightfall."

He kissed Sookie's forehead and told her he'd be back. When he returned, almost 30 minutes later, he had Thalia, Pam, Bubba and Rhys. "Sookie, I explained what's happening today. They must escape the cottage in case Freyda is on the way. I brought them back into your room to say . . . to. . ."

Pam finished for him. "We came to say goodbye Sookie."

Eric left explaining he just needed to do something before they all left the cottage.

For Sookie; Thalia, Rhys and even Bubba were easy compared to saying goodbye to Pam. She asked Pam to lean down and she gathered enough strength to put her arms around Pam in a hug. "What's with you and Eric and these hugs? I've managed to go hundreds of years without being hugged so much."

Sookie giggled. "You're my scarecrow Pam."

"Explain."

"Watch the Wizard of Oz Pam."

"I will."

"Thank you Pam, thank you for these days with Eric."

"My pleasure. You've done so much, even just your saving us in Rhodes put me in your debt. Be brave Sookie. You . . . You've been a great friend." Sookie released her from the hug.

"You too Pam. You gave up years to stay here with me. You'll never know how much that meant."

Pam turned and quickly walked away, overcome with emotion.

Eric had waited until he saw everyone leave the room, Pam the last and unable to speak. "Thalia, please take care of Pam." He handed her a video camera. "And be sure this recording makes it to Freyda."

"Yes Master."

"Eric," Pam started, "please . . ."

"I've made up my mind. Please explain it to Karin." He moved to embrace her. "I love you Pam. I wish things could have been different. I believe there is somewhere for Sookie and I, and we need to go together. Now please, go in case Freyda has discovered this location." He looked up to all of them. "Thank you for your years of service. Please go and save yourselves."

He returned to the bedroom without any further interaction, his little fairy needed him to be strong.

Sookie had been listening. "What recording?"

"I videotaped myself telling Freyda to fuck herself. That I'd found you, ALIVE, and she would never see me again."

"You're really not going back?"

"No." She could feel his resolve and calm through the bond. He was too calm. "Eric?"

"Sookie, I . . . I won't live without you now." He kneeled at the edge of the bed and took her hands. "I'm keeping my promise, I'm going to drain you until you're unconscious, then we'll meet the sun together. You won't feel it."

"Eric. No. You can't give. . ."

"I love you Sookie. We have about an hour. I plan to pray to my Freyja while you pray to your Jesus. I want us to live our eternity together somewhere; whether it's Heaven, The Summerlands or Valhalla. I know there's a place for us to be together. I also know it's not here. Please don't ask me to suffer even one day on earth without you."

Tears overtook her and she couldn't respond except to open her arms for him. They stayed in the bed, each saying their silent prayers until about 20 minutes to dawn. "Come my love. We'll go to the garden." She was still crying softly but nodded her assent. After arranging them on the outdoor chaise, they sat quietly for a few minutes until Eric noticed the edge of the horizon lightening. "It's time," he told her and after she nodded her understanding, he bit. With her weakened condition it didn't take long for her to go unconscious and he held her tightly as he welcomed the sun. He had only a few seconds to enjoy its brightness, kiss Sookie on the forehead and say I love you before they were both gone in a flash of bright light.

Nine months later:

"Can I help you?" Pam asked as she looked up from her inventory work to see a curvy older woman approaching her. An image of a former friend popped into her head, but she quickly brushed it off.

"Pamela Ravenscroft?" Instead of answering, Pam just looked suspiciously at the woman. She'd changed her name, relocated to Vancouver, and opened a chain of clothing boutiques after saying goodbye to Eric. How anyone had found her was concerning and she scowled at the human. The visitor, apparently fearless, pressed on. "You are Pam Ravenscroft, child of Eric Northman?"

"Who are you, and what do you want?"

"Names Adele Savoy-Petershiem."

"Well Adele Sav. . . ADELE?" The momentary recognition Pam had when the woman first approached made sense. The shape of the face and the eye color said 'Stackhouse', but it just wasn't possible.

"Yes. I'm a descendant of Adele Stackhouse." Pam immediately stood, knowing something important was about to happen. Adele added, "It took a while to find you, I apologize."

Ignoring the apology, Pam countered while shaking her head. "Jason and Sookie had no children."

"Hadley did. My father was her child. Sookie wrote out the Stackhouse family history for her brother to pass to Hunter Savoy, my Dad, in addition to the title to the farmhouse in Bon Temps. She did this before she died; I mean before her faked death. My Dad treasured the family archives she wrote up until his own death several years ago."

Her concern for security took over and she asked how Adele had found her. "Bubba. He returned to Louisiana right after Sookie and Eric died and since I live at the farmhouse Adele owned, we became fast friends. He patrols faithfully every night. I built him a light tight chamber for the day, an upgrade from the cubby in the closet that existed. Anyway, I asked him for help and he made some inquiries and here I am."

"Why are you here? Why did you even ask him for help?"

"As I am the only remaining family member, I received a visitor about 9 months ago, well visitors. Eric and Sookie were on their way to their afterlife. You can imagine my surprise at the visit, since I had been told she died before I was even born."

"They were together?" Adele nodded. "And they were going to stay together in The Summerlands?"

"Not exactly or rather not just The Summerlands. Turns out The Summerlands, Valhalla, Heaven – all the various names for it are the same place; all the cultures and religions just call it different things. It's just where everyone goes when they die."

Pam retreated to her thoughts for a moment after hearing Adele's words. 'They were together. They made it . . . together. He was right, he kept saying there was somewhere for them to be together.' Adele was quiet while she watched Pam absorb the information she had given her. Pam had to work very hard to keep her tears from falling. "Wha. . ." she cleared her throat "What did they say?"

"They want you to thank Thalia, Bubba, Karin, Rhys and Violet. Can you handle that?"

"I can." She was quiet for a moment since the woman offered nothing else, so she asked about the visit. "If the afterlife is all the same place, why do only fairies get a visit from the recently deceased?"

"The way they explained it, humans are just too closed minded to actually witness the visit."

Pam smirked. "That makes sense."

"They had a different message for you."

The smirk left Pam's face and she stiffened at the mention of her message. She was only able to acknowledge Adele with an 'OK.'

Adele moved forward and Pam moved back in response. "I'm sorry, do you want your final message or not?" Pam nodded. "Then you have to stand still, I was asked to deliver it while giving you a hug." Adele moved forward and embraced Pam. "A special thank you to Pam for helping us find our 'somewhere together'. We love you very much." She released Pam from the hug. "Oh, and don't drain the messenger."