The Far Reach – Epilogue

Author’s Note: And so, The Far Reach is at conclusion. I thank Breathesgirl and Ms Buffy for their countless hours and amazing advice. I thank American Android for her inspirational art.

I also want to thank all of you who read my stories and find that you share my enthusiasm for the characters and the stories. It is with your interest that I am a story-teller. Thank you for that honor.

Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author.  The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise.  No copyright infringement is intended.

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Jackson

“You are worrying for nothing, Rusty! He is a snake, I’ll grant you, but he didn’t say anything overt. He was grandstanding, like he always does.”

Russell Edgington, King of Mississippi, was sitting on the studded leather chair in their dressing room. Bartlett was busy putting away some new purchases. They had servants to do these things, but there was something about putting things in the right place the first time that appealed to the Indiana king. He liked the texture of the fabrics and the way the colors played against each other. In all, it was a sensual experience.

“Don’t underestimate him, Bart. Bumblers don’t remain Kings of major cities for long. He may look like an idiot, but I think he purposely plays that angle. You are a Clan Chief. Any hint of a threat was inexcusable.”

Bartlett turned the soft ties in his hand. He had made a side trip to Atlanta on the way home to take advantage of the shopping. He walked back to Russell and held the ties close to his mate’s face. “I was right, they are perfect for you!”

Russell caught his hand and pulled him close for a kiss. “What am I to do with you?” he asked no one in particular.

Bartlett placed his hand against Russell’s cheek, “You will have to keep me, I suppose. After all, that’s what the contract says.”

Russell turned his face, captured his mate’s hand in his own, and kissed the palm that had just cradled his face. He rubbed his thumb across Bart’s knuckles before looking up at him, “You are very dear to me, but even more so because you are going to tell me again how dumbstruck the Viking looked,” and the King’s eyes tilted with humor.

“Could have knocked him over with a feather!” Bartlett grinned. He sat down on the arm of the chair and kissed Russell’s forehead before brushing his hair to the side. “Pam will forward me the picture. I think she’s just waiting for him to cool down a little, but you know she loves to share a good joke.”

“She better not send it around like the last one!” Russell chuckled.

“What? Like Eric in the apron? Oh! That was a classic!” and Bartlett laughed as well.

“So,” Russell asked, “What do you think the future King and Queen of the combined kingdoms are doing right now?”

“Well,” Bartlett said archly, “I don’t think it’s polishing their medals.” He took Russell’s hand in his, “I know that you think this all ended well, and I know that you were hoping it would, but Rusty? Let’s not fight about this anymore. I don’t like being angry with you.”

“I love you, Bart,” Russell smiled into his mate’s eyes.

Bartlett kissed him, “I love you too, Rusty.” He rose and tugged the Mississippi King toward the bedroom. Russell playfully pinched Bart’s butt and they started to chase toward the bed, but even as they slowed to start the delightful job of undressing Russell made a mental note to have a word with the guards.

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New Orleans

Eric Northman felt out of breath. He was vampire and didn’t need to breathe, not technically, but Sookie Stackhouse had put him through his paces and at the moment he felt broken. “That good?” his vixen teased. She trailed her hair starting at his chest, allowing the slippery, cool curls to caress his skin until she curled them around his cock.

“It’s a good thing I am undead or you would kill me doing that.”

“You’re welcome!” he could see her smirk in his mind’s eye and she kissed him, causing him to pulse again. “Think of it as aggressive negotiating.”

Eric reached down and cupped her golden head in his hand, pulling her back to him so he could kiss her lips. “You are so very clever, Miss Stackhouse. I always said it and you have proven me right yet again.”

‘Clever,” she agreed, “and beautiful and one hell of a negotiator. Say it! Say that I’m worth every year!” she dropped her head to nip at his nipple.

“Yes,” Eric hissed, “Worth every one of the two hundred years you forced from me!”

“You’re the one insisting on extra security,” Sookie shrugged. “You want to play, you have to pay!”

“You get your concession on turning humans over to human authorities.” Eric shrugged.

“Not news. You’ve given it to me before,” and Sookie followed up by nipping a line from his chest to his hip. “Of course, I get a monthly appearance at the palace tour and a picture for some lucky guest.”

“Enthralling the vermin in my own palace,” Eric growled.

“You always were a good businessman. You know it will be good for relations,” Sookie followed the nip with an open mouth kiss that was trailing south again. Eric pulled her back up, meeting her mouth with his own, wet and hungry. When they parted, Sookie laid her head against his chest and played with the blond hair that dusted his chest. Her fingers stilled, “Do you mind if I feel a little odd about having the Ancient Pythoness officiate at our pledging? I know she’s revered and all, but she honestly gives me the willies. Who knows what crazy thing she’ll decide we have to do!”

Eric chuckled under her, “What do you imagine? You know I appreciate your creative mind. Perhaps I can make a suggestion,” and Sookie swatted him.

“Cut it out! I mean it, Eric. I’m not stripping or having sex in front of a bunch of folks!”

The Viking laughed so hard he sat up, tumbling his telepath into his lap. “You really do have an interesting take on vampires, Lover!” When her eyes widened, his turned predatory, “Although I can see where the idea would have some merit,” and he ran his finger across her cheek. Sookie quickly snapped it with her teeth, playfully pulling and then releasing him. “Seriously, we are not so inventive. It is about exchanging blood and signing documents. Andre forced the issue because he sensed you were unwilling. He was looking for an angle to take you for his own. No one will think you are unwilling this time,” and Eric tumbled her to the cushions as he stood up. “Are you hungry?”

“Oh, yeah!” Sookie sighed, rolling onto her stomach and leaning up on her elbows. ‘It is criminal what an amazing ass you have,’ she sighed to herself.

Eric turned around, his eyebrow arched, “Real food, Lover! You are just now regaining the softness I crave. Soon there will be enough of you to fill my hands, and then I am afraid you will get little rest.” He walked back to her with a plate filled with French bread slices, fruit, and soft cheese. He prepared slices in different combinations, feeding it to her, teasing her by painting her lips, and using the slice of a peach to wet the end of her nose, which he then leaned forward to lick delicately.

Sookie sighed, and rolled over to sit cross legged. She took the plate from Eric’s hands and started to eat with more enthusiasm. Their retreat was comfy. It was agreed that no one entered except the two of them, and they also agreed never to wear shoes within the room. “I think the window should go right there,” Sookie pointed to a blank wall. “I think we’ll get a view of the Quarter and the river beyond. We could be doing this by starlight.”

One of the first things Sookie had insisted they do was get estimates for light-tight glass windows for most of the first floor rooms and several on the upper floors. The glass that was being ordered was being used in vampire-safe hotels and could withstand direct gunfire as well as being impenetrable by the white light end of the spectrum.

“You know I can deny you nothing,” Eric smiled, pushing the plate enough so he could lay his head in her lap.

Sookie licked the juice from her fingers. They had had a long talk with Jane earlier. The Sheriff had explained in great detail the procedure that would be needed if they wished to explore having children using the research Niall had funded. When Jane had told them Eric would need to donate several back molars, Sookie had been horrified. For his part, Eric had smirked, downplaying it, “It’s not like I need them,” he told her, “and they will grow back.” Sookie would need to undergo a regimen of hormone shots to increase her egg production and then the eggs would need to be harvested. Once Eric’s DNA was introduced into the eggs, they could be frozen indefinitely, awaiting the right time. From there, the process would be identical to any other couple undergoing fertility treatment. They would need to make decisions about implanting one or multiple eggs. Sookie would need to be carefully monitored until it was certain the egg or eggs had implanted. Jane was almost too enthusiastic.

In the end, they had decided they would wait for a year. Sookie had tried to tell him there was no need to make any decision, but Eric seemed to be able to read her most secret thoughts. He had taken her hands, looked into her eyes, and said, “You will make a wonderful mother, Älskade.” Sookie was still embarrassed by how hard she had cried.

Sookie set the plate on the floor next to her and looked down at her lover’s face. She saw his chiseled jaw and the bow of his upper lip. She saw the slight scar below his right eye and the broad, smooth expanse of his forehead. She touched the place where his hair sprang in a natural wave from his temple. Last, she looked in his eyes, identical in color to her own. “I was meant to be yours, Eric Northman,” she told him.

“See?” he smiled, “I knew you would figure it out.”

“What?” she smiled back.

“That I was always right,” he replied.

Sookie’s eyes narrowed and she thought of a crushing retort, but she just as quickly forgot it when his mouth found hers. ‘He’s right,’ she thought.

“I know,” he whispered in her ear.

I look forward to hearing from you. I do not anticipate a long wait for the three-part wedding out-take that is meant to be between this story and the next, which is called The Distant Horizon. All my best ~ Natsgirl

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72 thoughts on “The Far Reach – Epilogue

      1. I think this was the fifth time but I only went back 5-6 chapter late last night. I’ll have to do a complete reread of both stories to count them right and to see how long has he been able to do this

        Liked by 2 people

      2. It’s been around that many, maybe one or two more, but not in the first story. By all means, do a reread! I’m planning one, it’s such a great read!

        Liked by 2 people

  1. This is and always will be one of my favorite stories, and you one of my favorite authors. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for sharing your brilliant talents with us.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Did Eric just “hear” her last thought? I can’t wait for more. I know things won’t be smooth sailing (haha) but I’m so looking forward to how you give them their HEA.
    Could you please create a PDF and post it here somwhere for download. I keep all my fave ffs on my Kindle app/phone for easy reading. 😀

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Thanks so much for the PDF creating. So Eric DID hear her. That’s a new development isn’t it? Did I miss something? Is that what Niall did? Made them on equal footing? So many questions. Gawd, I can hardly wait for the next part *happy excited dance* 🎉😋

        Liked by 2 people

  3. *sigh* I never want their story to end. I wait with bated breath for your next installment.
    It’s such a relief that they have managed to sort out the kingdom finances, but I wonder if it is at the cost of an alliance with Texas. Stan may hold a grudge over losing out on the energy deal or, to use his own words, it’s just business and no hard feelings.
    I hope Sookie isn’t jinxing them with her heebie-jeebies about the AP requiring them to do something. World peace anyone? Unsolvable conundrums for 500, thanks Alex.
    I feel blessed to have found such talented writers as yourself and can’t thank you enough for all the time, thought and effort you devote to our enjoyment.
    Blessings

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Very cute Eric & Sookie scene – look how far they’ve come!
    For a moment there in the Russell and Bartlett reunion I worried Misha was going to strike? It did feel a bit like foreshadowing or maybe I am suspicious by nature….
    Very much looking forward to the third part of the saga so thank you for writing such a great story – much better than any of the latter books!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Suspicious in this world would keep you among the living. It’s part of the attraction for me. They look so much like us on the outside, and for the ones that befriend you, you can almost believe they’re human. But they’re not. They are something older and more primal. Even Sookie will become more of what we would call a darker side. It’s in her genes and she’s about to embark on an experience that calls up all the most instinctual behaviors. How many of us have marveled at the sudden courage an otherwise meek woman exhibits when it comes to the safety of her children? Russell has cause for concern and I would suspect that even though Bartlett is brushing it off, it is more for the benefit of his mate rather than a true dismissal of the threat that was directed toward him. At their ages, assessing and preparing would be second nature. It’s how they’ve managed to survive and succeed.
      Thank you so much for the compliment! I loved the first books – frisky and fun, and they had a story line that kind of made sense. I don’t know what happened in the later books. I still maintain the author decided she hated her characters and the fame they brought her and so she twisted them to make them less likeable.
      So, I will spend the next couple days updating my source outlines and doing research. Sookie will be getting her house back and while Niall wouldn’t have it built back exactly the way it was, it will be close… only a little bigger (don’t look for an estate, though). Pam has allowed her business concerns to take a back burner long enough. Still deciding on the location for the Summit that will be the site for their pledging. Should have that nailed today… details… details.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I have to tell you – I find it very hard not to go back to the beginning of this story and re-read it over and over (I’ve done it once over my summer vacation), such is the pleasure of the very satisfying character development…. Most obviously with Sookie and also Eric but also with characters that (sadly) lacked depth in the books such as Niall (I still don’t like him one bit), Cataliades and esp. Bartlett and Russell for whom I have now come to care enough that if Mischa gets a shot, I would be well distraught… Even 100% original characters such as Thomas, Thierry, the late Lydia are engaging and interesting.

        The thing I am most curious about re: Eric hearing Sookie’s thoughts, is whether it is him gaining the ability to hear her thoughts (and her thoughts only presumably) or whether Sookie is gaining the ability (uncontrolled thus far it would seem) to project thoughts at Eric and if the latter is it limited to Eric or could she do it to others such as Pam or even beyond their bloodline? But anyway, as always, happy to wait and see what’s what…

        Liked by 2 people

  5. I cannot even tell you how much i love their way with eachother, its messy and real and fun. that even sounds trite, but the way you’ve crafted their rhythms, its for them alone–no one else around them sees these aspects…its a lovely secret. and it will keep them alive.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. When I look back at the relationship I had with the one who was my heart it was like this. There were two faces – one that everyone saw and what we were for each other. We were best friends in the way you are as children. We laughed at stupid stuff and had secret handshakes and inside jokes. We were both introverts, so that made us look serious, but what I remember most is how we loved to laugh. People would tell us that even if they hadn’t know what we were to eachother, they never doubted that we belonged together. It is that experience that I’ve been drawing upon and I’m pleased to know it’s coming through. Thanks.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. If one hasn’t truly had a deep, abiding love shared with another as you describe, I don’t know that one could write something on this level, or the reader even fully comprehend it. Be very pleased, and we should be thanking you for the lessons.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. Estrella, you said that so eloquently, just as you always do! Everything you said/wrote is exactly what I would have loved to have written. Will you write my reviews for me in the future? Maybe I’ll just copy and paste and use quotes?

      Liked by 2 people

  6. He heard her thoughts..very interesting indeed. Lovely epilogue, two happy couples (can’t leave out Russell & Bartlett). Using your nautical references for chapters, I think of them navigating a difficult sea crossing and now resting in a sheltered cove. So excited to learn what the last phase of this trilogy will reveal. And of course the wedding outtakes are a treat yet to come.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes, he did hear her thoughts…. but she doesn’t appear to hear his. And they don’t seem to be be aware of it, although I’m sure that won’t last too much longer.
      It is a place of calm. I’m sure that with everything that has happened, this seems like the end to the journey – their happily ever after. But there is really only one end for any creature and that is the final end. Since these two are, for all intents and purposes immortal, they would seem to have more adventures before them.
      Thank you!

      Like

  7. I love the place these two are in, relationship wise, with each other and I really hope it only continues to grow stronger in the next story. They have both grown so much since the first story, especially Sookie. I can’t wait to read the next part and the wedding outtakes as well. Thank you so much!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. They have both come to a place where they are accepting that this is their destiny, and for two strong-minded people, that must bring them a certain release of tension. I would look for them to be a combined team with the occasional disagreement, of course. After all, how can you have great make-up sex if there’s nothing to make up for?
      Thanks for reading! Appreciate it!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Dang it! I just wrote a lot of stuff and lost it. Well, I’m not gonna rewrite it. I’ll just say I’m looking forward to the wedding and the start of the next arc. Thank you for a great story. It’s one of my all time favorites.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. They’ve finally reached what appears to be a calm in the storm that is their usual life. It’s beautiful to see them both on the same page about their relationship and both so happy. I look forward to the wedding outtakes and to the continuation of this story and the building of their family. This has definitely become one of my favorite sets of stories.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. A million sighs.

    I have so enjoyed every angst-ridden, sweet, petulant, angry, rage-filled, erotic, loving, happy, dangerous, sad, empowered, funny, and honorable word of both Swimming to the Light and The Far Reach.

    I also look forward to seeing your vision for our [the] best duo in the Wedding Outtakes, and The Distant Horizon.

    I’ve said it before, but, it bears repeating:

    I feel such gratitude for your decision to share with us this precious gift of your writing; you are absolutely one of my favorite authors, of fan fiction or otherwise!

    Thank you!

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Beautiful epilogue. I thought I was reading something I shouldn’t into the mind reading! Thank you so much for sharing your stories with us – you are an incredible talent. I’m looking forward to seeing what happens next – there are so many possibilities and stalker Bill will be a great read.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you again. I am working on the marriage pieces. I wrote a short story that touches on historic Eric for Area Bloody Pen. Not a crowd pleaser since there’s no sex but a basis for a future story set.
      Have a good one. Hope your health improves !!

      Liked by 2 people

  12. I just love Russell and Bart! They are so cute together. When Bart got a detergent pen for Russell at the coronation I thought it was so cute. I love this story and epilogue and cannot wait for the outtakes and next part! I am thinking Jane and the fairies are a bit too excited about babies (or their plans for these babies) but I think Sookie and Eric will be extremely careful. I just don’t trust Niall at all. Anyway, love this and cannot wait for more 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love Rusty and Bart too. They are kind to eachother even when fighting. They are less flamboyant in their lives than Sookie and Eric, but they are just as committed to eachother.
      There will doubtless be well-meaning interference if/when there are children, especially if those children have the spark. Magical toys and tutors come to mind. I think it’s in Niall’s nature. As for Jane- think about that classic Jurassic Park line- so enthused about could, didn’t stop to ask should.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. I’m sorry this is the first time I’ve commented about this trilogy so far. I found your story on the Fangbangers Anonymous directory recommendations and I have spent every available minute for the last week reading – I’m so eager to read the next chapter I skip commenting! I love your storytelling about Eric and Sookie. It’s by far the most believable and well thought out of any story I’ve read for the SVM/TB universe. There’s sweetness without being uncharacteristic and some well-overdue maturity for Sookie (even if it took the horrendous marriage to Sam to get there). I love your characters and all their interactions. Your writing is definitely up there with the likes of CaliforniaKat and KJWrit; so much so that I will feel lost without reading your takes of the faery and the Viking once I’ve finished the last instalment. Thank you for sharing your talent. 😁

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words. To be compared with those ladies is high praise indeed. I am thrilled to hear that you found me through the Directory. The women involved in that effort put so much into it and I love the outcome. I started writing fiction this past January, after discovering fanfiction in 2014. One of those things that I did when I was much younger and decided it was time to rediscover. I so enjoy the idea of Sookie and Eric. It is about second chances and overcoming impossible odds. They characters in their world do tend to take on some tendencies of people I may have known (or know), but that is the privilege of writing.
      You may have noticed that I have started what was supposed to be a couple short pieces to bridge to Distant Horizon. These have kind of taken on a life of their own, and I will be pushing the third chapter of Pledging tonight.
      Hope to have the opportunity to chat in future, and again, thank you!

      Like

  14. I just finished The Far Reach yesterday- again I found myself unable to put it down, so to speak. And again, I found myself choosing this story over sleep, bills, work. But as I finished, I had such a happy smile on my face, so thank you! Another wonderful story, another wonderful journey. I can not wait to discover what is next for our favorite couple. You have become one of my favorite authors.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Thank you so much for your kind words. I have had stories that hit me the same way, and I can’t think of anything more flattering. I hope the writing continues to bring you enjoyment. I do feel there are so many stories that await this couple. Goodness knows, I am having a great time!

    Like

  16. I finally managed to reach the end of your two wonderful stories which I started during the summer holidays.
    Thank you so much for it. It was a treat ! I am looking forward for the pledging story now, and I understand you plan to write a third part which will take place one year later, hopefully with vampire-fae babies included.
    It is such a joy to be able to read a completely different storyline with our beloved characters after what we had to endure with the original version. This is definitively the kind of books we would have prefer to read at the first place !!
    Since then, many fanfiction writers have tried to make us forget how disappointed and unhappy we were left a few years ago.
    Some have succeeded and a few have trully been excellent at it. You definitively belong to the later …
    Again, we the readers are thanksfull for all the time and energy you put into your work.
    Know that it brings moments of hapiness all over the planet !

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So pleased you enjoyed the writing! Thank you for your kind words. The 3-part wedding series is well underway. I ended up making it a little more than originally planned, and there is plenty of chat about children. Like any couple thinking about having children, they have plenty to consider, and some of their concerns are unique.
      I, like so many of my fellow authors, agree with you. The characters deserved a different outcome – a happier one. It was one of my triggers for writing, and continues to inspire me. Such a rich world, and I am having a blast building it further.

      Like

  17. That was a perfect ending!! And….he read her mind! I thought he did that some chapters back, too. Love that there are gonna be little Northman’s toddling around. Soooo awesome.

    You are an amazing writer!!

    Liked by 1 person

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