Tuesday, November 30, 2010

132 - Bundle of Joy ..... Part 2

Chapter One Hundred and Thirty Two

The next time Amelia came to pick up the girls for their witchcraft lessons I brought her into the kitchen to ask her about Charlaine's ring. Sheila hadn't arrived yet so we could discuss things freely.

The perky modern day witch sat at the kitchen table and had a cup of tea while Charlaine took the ring off her finger. As soon as she placed it in Amelia's hand I saw a visible reaction.

"Oh my! Where did you get this?" Amelia asked, getting up to examine the ring in the sunlight streaming in the kitchen window. The light shone on her honey brown hair, bringing out the golden highlights. I saw that there were now a few silver threads among the gold.

"It was given to Mom by an old woman that has passed on now," Charlaine said.

Amelia looked into the stone and hummed thoughtfully as she carefully examined the antique ring.

"Mmmmm.... Mmmmm, hhmmm. I see."

She looked at us. "This is very powerful, very old, imbued with very ancient magic. This seven pointed star is the Fairy Star. Whoever made this ring and enchanted it was one of the Otherkin. I see no name or mark on it, though there may be those who could identify the maker by the design."

"Who are the Otherkin?" Linda asked. The girls had clustered around Amelia to see what she was seeing.

"They are those that are not completely human. Angels, demons, dragons, elves, extra-terrestrials, fairies, kitsune, and lycanthropes, that would be werewolves, are all examples of Otherkin. Often they are reincarnated into human form, but keep much of their earlier life's powers."

Amelia returned to the table and handed Charlaine back her ring. I was pleased to see that she immediately put it on her finger as if she felt naked without it. That was good.

"The seven pointed star traditionally wards off evil. That's why sheriff's stars have seven points. It is also the symbol of perfection. This ring was made by someone special to ward off a specific evil." Amelia concluded.

"It keeps Charlaine from being glamoured," Linda volunteered.

"Then it will be her protection in the future," Amelia said. She patted Charlaine's hand and smiled at her, glad her niece would be safe from being under the influence of glamour.

"Can we get magic rings too?" Adele and Linda asked. They had their vintage rings, but they weren't magic.

"We can make a ring magic. Do you have rings you want enchanted?" Amelia asked, excited by the new chance to work her magic for good.

Amelia was always enthusiastic when it came to working magic. Now that she was one of Hecate's Handmaidens she was both more powerful and more stable in her magical work.

Linda and Adele showed Amelia their new antique rings. She said, "Yes, these rings can be given a specific enchantment. What would you like your magic ring to do?"

That was a puzzler. Neither of them could think of what they wanted at the moment.

"Why don't you think about it and come up with some ideas? Then we can discuss the degree of difficulty it would entail to enchant a ring to that purpose. Some enchantments take a hundred years to complete, we wouldn't want to choose one of those," she said, laughing. Her pretty face was given more character by the little laugh lines around her eyes and mouth.

After a bit more catching up with the latest news, including Kinnan and their dance lessons with Fowler, Allan and Rook, the girls were ready to go back to Amelia's for their lesson. Today they were manifesting their anger and turning it into a protective shield. It wasn't dangerous, but Amelia had warned me it might be exhausting for the girls.

I would try to get them to nap before meeting their new geology teacher Aleksander Czekanowski. He had been exiled to Siberia in 1864 and Turned when he was forty three. He had conducted research in Siberia and authored the first map of Lake Baikal. There was a mountain range named after him.

I hoped he wasn't going to be grumpy. The girls were spoiled after having Mr. Tesla teach them, he was so enthusiastic and encouraging to their enquiries. Some people were born teachers, others not so much.

I called Kinnan to meet them in the front of the house. He would ride behind Amelia's Explorer and watch for trouble. I had already told Linda that she could not ride with Kinnan, the werewolf was there to watch over the car the girls and Amelia was in. Linda took it remarkably well and I was proud of her level of maturity.

While the girls were at Amelia's Sheila and I gave Gordon a bath, something we later decided we would never tackle again. The big dog was co-operative, but when he shook he got us both soaked. The next time I would take him to a groomer.

Gordon was so happy with us and his new home. His sad expression was tempered with a fierce happiness whenever we were around. His tail actually wagged each night when he saw Eric. They had a male bonding thing going on.

I called Angellica to ask about Brett's check up. He had gained weight and was a little over average length. The best news was that he was healthy and passed all his tests. His pediatrician hadn't known that Jason was really his gestator and Angellica had been worried that Brett might have special requirements for medical care.

Late in the afternoon I saw that Amelia had been right, the girl's day of learning how to channel their anger into a protective shield had been exhausting. They had a light snack then went to their rooms to lay down and probably to check their phones since Amelia had an iron clad rule that they could not look at or use their phones once their witchcraft lesson had begun.

Mr. Czekanowski, an intense looking man with a thick black beard, turned out to be quite pleasant. He had been a teacher in Russia during part of his human life. He brought soil samples and volcanic ash to illustrate to the girls a spellbinding story about the biggest volcano ever. He spoke with a delightful Russian accent.

"A huge Siberian volcano destroyed the world's forests 250 million years ago. It was the worst extinction event the planet has ever witnessed. It rained fire and acid rain for hundreds of thousands of years and killed 90 percent of all life, including plants and vegetation. Acid rain fell on Earth for hundreds of thousands of years which killed the trees and plants and allowed fungus to take over the planet. Up to 96 per cent of all marine species and 70 per cent of land species became extinct."

Beginning with such a hair raising geological fact captured their attention and kept them riveted to the rest of his lecture. I enjoyed sitting next to Eric, watching the class on the monitor. One the other side of Eric was the large and clean Gordon. He looked at the screen too, though what he saw or thought about was anybody's guess.

I was content, things were going well. Isn't that always when something comes along to shake everything up? While the girls were learning about the ancient giant volcano producing acid rain and depleting the ozone layer, the phone rang.

It was the call I had been dreading.

more to come .....(ky, Eminé, RW, Marlene, Anonymous Z, sashimistat, Lindsay Jo - Thank you for giving me confidence as a writer, it is a great gift and I appreciate it more than words can say.

To all of you that have visited or commented along the way I am grateful. Your invisible presence is a warm spot in my heart. Some of you have been with me for years. Bless you.)


Monday, November 29, 2010

131 - Bundle of Joy ..... Part 2

Chapter One Hundred and Thirty One

Eric and I called Charlaine every night she was away. Unlike Adele's unfortunate experience, Charlaine had a wonderful time and always seemed to be going out for dinner, a show, or a movie. Allison and Dewey were keeping Darren and Charlaine busy, and keeping a watchful eye on them too.

Since Charlaine wasn't going to be available for classes for two weeks it would have been heaping insult upon injury to make Linda and Adele attend classes during Charlaine's absence.

Instead we went for walks, went to the movies, went to restaurants, and visited the Research Center. We had Hector Lee and his Maker, Dr. Clark over for the evening twice.

I offered to let Rory come over too but Adele said she still wasn't ready for that yet. I was glad to see she was making Rory work to get back in her good graces. Her ability to slow down the relationship was a sign of her increasing maturity.

Hector behaved perfectly, only kissing Linda's cheek on one occasion and her hand on the second visit. Linda gave Hector a quick kiss on the mouth as he was leaving with Frank Clark the second time. Eric acted as if he didn't see it, but I knew he had. He didn't mind, it was Hector's respectful and controlled manner Eric was looking for.

Eric had begun letting the large and affectionate Gordon sit next to him on the couch in the media room sometimes. He would put his arm around the big dog and ruffle his rough fur.

All of us would watch a movie together, often stopping it and discussing something about the movie the girls were interested in. We saw several Elvis Presley musicals and the girls were impressed with the costumes.

"Could we have a theme night at Fangtasia?" I asked Eric. I would love to see the girls in full skirts and petticoats.

They loved the idea, so Eric added a 1950's dance theme to the advertising posters. He also needed to change the bands he had scheduled to reflect the sock hop kind of night they would have. Besides being fun, the clothing from that era was not very revealing, something Eric and I both liked.

Linda and Adele began trying to do the fifties dances they had seen in the movies like the jitterbug, the twist, and the stroll, but without a teacher they were in danger of crashing into each other and hurting themselves. We took them to Rolando's Dance Studio for private lessons. We went every other night to give Eric a chance to get in to Fangtasia and his sheriff's office on the other nights.

Linda got Allan as an instructor and Adele got Fowler. Allan was a bespectacled geeky looking guy in his mid-thirties, but boy oh boy could that man dance. He had a great sense of humor and put Linda at her ease, even when she accidentally stepped on his feet. They had a natural easy time learning to trip the light fantastic.

Fowler was younger, light haired, slender and ultra polite. I think Fowler was intimidated by Eric. The dance instructor held Adele at arm's length for the fast dances and kept at least a foot of open space between them during the slow dances.

Adele kept trying to pull him closer. I could see her arm muscles bulging as she struggled to reel him in. Since we were the only ones there for midnight dance lessons, Eric and I had plenty of room to dance too. Eric was a smooth dancer but preferred the slower dances to the fast ones.

He just about swept me off my feet to 'Begin the Beguine'. The instructors and our daughters applauded when we were done dancing. If I had known I was going to be the focus of attention I would have worn a skirt instead of jeans.

After our third dance lesson I knew that the lessons were a success when the girls rode the whole way home without mentioning Kinnan once. Instead they talked about Allan, Fowler and dancing.

Adele wanted to switch partners for the next lesson but Linda said she didn't think she could begin all over again with a new instructor. Adele pouted, but she had to content herself with the very proper Fowler. In two days they were going to learn the Cha-Cha, Mambo and the Bossa Nova.

"Blame it on the Bossa Nova," I sang, "With it's magic spell. Blame it on the Bossa Nova.That he did so well." What I lacked in singing talent I made up for in volume and enthusiasm.

"That was one of Gran's old records," I explained to the girls.

I tried to picture Gran doing the Bossa Nova but failed. By the time I remembered her clearly she was way past her Bossa Nova days. Her record collection used to fascinate Jason and me and we spent many happy hours listening to songs that were once popular but had fallen by the wayside.

The girls texted Charlaine to let her know what she was missing and she asked me by the fourth dance lesson if she would get a chance to catch up.

"Of course, we'll get an instructor for you and he'll bring you up to speed," I reassured her. Linda and Adele must have really played up how wonderful the dance lessons were.

Charlaine got back tanned, even slimmer, and happy. She had gifts for all of us and stories about things that we hadn't been there to see. This was her first big adventure away from home and aside from a sunburn on the tops of her feet she came back in good shape. She had pictures on her phone of the sandcastle contest, the beach house and quite a few of the lanky Darren in a swimsuit.

We included her in the next dance lesson and she got the newest dance instructor Rook. He was tall, with silky black hair that hung to his collar. Since she was so many lessons behind we let her have an extra lesson while Eric, Linda and Adele went across the street to the all night diner for milk shakes. I waited with Charlaine, noticing she seemed somehow older and more poised after her vacation.

We called and thanked Allison and Dewey and continued to allow Darren to visit and Charlaine to visit him. Their hands flew so fast they were almost a blur when the two of them were signing to each other. I could see how happy they were together in their silent private world.

more to come .....(nightlover, Eminé, Anonymous Z, RW, Cindy, Lindsay Jo, Sally - Thanks for saying such kind and encouraging things and taking the time to comment. It puts a song my heart.)


Sunday, November 28, 2010

130 - Bundle of Joy ..... Part 2

Chapter One Hundred and Thirty

The next night we tried our experiment while the girls were in class. Eric was right, Sheila was an easy person to glamour.

After getting her settled comfortably in a kitchen chair I said I wanted to discuss the meals for the upcoming week. I had a piece of paper and a pen as if I was going to jot down menus.

As I talked about vegetables Eric came in and said "I think I have something in my eye."

He squatted down in front of her chair and said, "Do you see it?"

She looked in his eyes and that was the last conscious thought she had. She instantly lost all expression and sat immobile. Eric could have fed from her, robbed her, had his way with her and she would not remember a thing. The possibilities were endless.

Then he could implant any memory he wanted, usually something to account for her time loss and missing valuables and bring her out of her trance. She would walk away believing any story he concocted.

How many people had misplaced their wallet or found less money in their possession than they thought they had? They would just blame themselves for their own carelessness or reckless spending. Meanwhile some crafty vampire would be placing that money in his or her own pocket.

To begin our experiment with Sheila, Eric asked her about the missing calendar from the box in the garage. She admitted she took it. She said she kept it under her pillow and looked at Mr. January, that would be Eric, every night before falling asleep.

"Do you kiss the picture?" Eric asked, enjoying this immensely. Me, not so much.

"Oh yes! I pretend I'm kissing him, naked, getting ready to get into bed with him," she rhapsodized.

"Eric, that's enough!" I hissed. This line of questioning was just wrong on so many levels.

He brought her out of her glamour. She looked from me to Eric, a little confused about why we were both sitting at the table.

"How's your eye?" she asked Eric.

"It is fine, thank you," Eric said politely.

He produced a ring box from his shirt pocket. Sheila looked startled. For a split second she had thought Eric was going to propose to her. I repressed a smile.

He asked her to try on a ring to see if it would need to be sized for Charlaine. She was a little confused about this because it didn't make sense but she went ahead and tried it on anyway because Eric took her hand and slipped it slowly and sensuously on her finger. Eric was still pleased Sheila practically worshiped his beauty.

Once it was on she admired it. "What an unusual ring," she said. "It feels so warm and it seems to be glowing from the center. There's a kind of star in the center, it has seven points. I never saw a stone cut like that. This ring must be very old. I bet Charlaine is going to treasure it. Hasn't she been wearing it already? I seem to recall seeing it on her finger."

She continued to look in the center. Meanwhile Eric was bombarding her with so much glamour I started to sneeze.

"Look at me, Sheila," Eric said, getting off his chair and crouching down so he was eye level with her. He was using his vampire mind melt eye thing on her. Glamour was bouncing off the walls at this point and ricocheting around the kitchen.

"What am I supposed to be seeing?" she asked, confused. "Do you still feel something in your eye? Maybe you could rinse it out with eye wash. Do you have any eye wash?"

Then she said, "Ouch! This ring is getting hot!" and she slipped it off her finger. It fell into her lap and Eric grabbed it before it fell to the floor. The residual glamour in the room hit her and she was out like a zombie.

"Should I tell her to do the windows?" he asked, looking up at me from his crouched position, remembering I had complained that she never would do the windows.

"No, just bring her out of it and let her go home," I said. I was feeling a little guilty about using poor Sheila this way. She hadn't signed on to be an experiment.

Eric brought her around gently and kissed her on the cheek before she left. She was twittering and blushing all the way out to her car.

As soon as class was over I put the ring back on Charlaine's finger and told her it was her protection against being coerced by a vampire. Now we had our proof. That was one big worry off my mind.

A few nights later I was talking on the phone with Pam while she waited for Eric to finish another call on the phone he used for sheriff duties. I told her about our trip to New Orleans and about the girls, especially Linda, ordering a vampire porn movie in their room.

"Sookie, they are naturally going to be curious. They want the facts and the details and they need them. Can't you tell them about sex with vampires? After all ......" she didn't finish the sentence. She didn't have to. She knew about Bill.

"I think it's a little too much personal information coming from me. I need someone that can tell them the facts but not scare them or give them a distorted idea about the dangers and joys." I said this so Pam wouldn't volunteer to come over and scare the dickens out of the girls with her gory tales.

"My friend is a sex therapist and researcher," Pam said. "I'm sure she would be willing to talk to your girls for her usual consultation fee."

"I'm not sure if I know who you're talking about. Is this someone I've seen you with?" I asked.

She told me we had met in Fangtasia one night a few weeks back. It was the older human woman Pam was currently dating.

"I remember her. She's a sex therapist?" I asked. I recalled her name, Elizabeth Banger. It seemed appropriate now that I knew what she did for a living.

"Yes indeed. Liz specializes in sexual relationships between supernaturals and humans." Pam gave a wicked little chuckle implying much about the nature of their relationship.

"That's real good of you, Pam," I said. "I'll have Eric set something up if he's on board with this idea."

Eric had come up to me to take the call from Pam. He raised his brows in inquiry as I handed him the phone.

"Pam will explain," I told him.

By the time he got off the phone he had scheduled Dr. Banger to come to our home for six classes with the girls. She not only had impressive credentials, she had pictures, books and films. Her age, a comfortable sixty-something, was reassuring to me. She would have the wisdom and gravitas to lead the girls through all their questions without being overwhelmed by them and without overloading their minds with too much information.

Life resumed its normal flow over the next weeks. As I hoped the Daynight trials were delayed. They could be delayed forever for all I cared.

Dr. Banger came to our home on Thursday afternoons. Their classes sometimes ran for several hours, giving me time to nap and read.

I spoke to Eric about my concern that Adele might be interested in the older Campbell brother, Lachlain. Eric checked the phone records and found that she was still talking to Rory. No new numbers were on her bill. I was relieved to hear it. She was probably giving him a second chance to earn her trust. I hoped he deserved it.

Charlaine began packing and preparing to visit with Darren and his family at their vacation beach house. She had cut back on her food a little so by the time she would be ready to leave she would look absolutely spectacular in her bathing suit, having the fulsome curves of a pin up girl.

This delighted her but worried me, resulting in one more 'birth control' talk and my calling Allison several more times to discuss how innocent and naive Charlaine was.

Her sisters were green with envy. Linda redoubled her efforts to make Kinnan notice her and Adele spoke to Rory every night. To make them feel better Eric had set up an "all ages" night in Fangtasia in November.

It had taken a lot of effort and maybe some bribes for him to get permission from the City of Shreveport to have a night like this four times a year. Fangtasia's owners weren't going to make any money from it and the costly security was going to be the heaviest ever to keep out trouble makers. All this would come out of Eric's pocket. Good thing his construction business gave him additional income.

Adele continued to work at the animal shelter and Linda continued to help her sometimes. I noticed that the times she wanted to go to the shelter with Adele were on the days Kinnan drove.

When she got to the shelter she was very helpful and had a good time, though I had to put my foot down several times when the girls wanted to bring home another dog. I reminded Linda she was already waiting for three poodle puppies, that would be quite enough dogs. Gordon was like two or three dogs because he was so large.

Their classes, especially their art class and their alternate partner sexuality class, kept their minds busy. Then it was time for Charlaine to go with the Boudreaux family. Linda, Adele and I stood on the porch and waved good bye to her.

I promised her I would give Daddy a hug for her once he was up. I knew he would miss seeing her off, but it wasn't fair to ask the Boudreaux's to travel at night just so Eric could wave good bye to his daughter.

more to come .....(Happy Sunday Fangirls! Hope you are all happy and healthy today. I appreciate your visit!)


Saturday, November 27, 2010

129 - Bundle of Joy ..... Part 2

Chapter One Hundred and Twenty Nine

He was silent for a moment after I told him that Anna Hita had glamoured us to never tell anyone about her ability to travel through time and to other nearby dimensions.

I saw the muscle in his jaw working so I knew he was probably angry. He had gotten much better dealing with his anger over the years. I used to attribute sudden uncontrollable destructive rage to the vampire nature, but I learned that wasn't true.

His outbursts of anger had to do with feeling threatened, or feeling a loved one was threatened. It was a built in feature of his warrior nature. It just went into vampire mode now if things were really serious.

The same quick responses that made him so lethal on the battlefield a thousand years ago were ten fold, maybe a hundred fold, more lethal now that he had vampire speed, senses, weapons and near invulnerability. He could only be pushed so far as a human man, and now as a vampire man. But who knew where his tipping point was?

He thought, and I watched him think, knowing that his ability to think through the situation was our best hope of a peaceful resolution.

"Are you sure that is all she said to us?" he finally asked.

"Yes, Charlaine would have told me if she had said one word more than what I told you."

He nodded. "It is what I would have done if I were her. Still, I did not know I could be so easily glamoured by her. It is unsettling and makes me wonder if it has happened in the past."

"Can you think of anything unusual you've done after you've spent time with Anna Hita?" I asked, moving to sit next to him now that I could see he was calm.

"No, all my actions have been consistent with my intentions. Not speaking about her powers is also consistent with my intentions. Glamour works best if it is in harmony with the nature of the person."

"What would happen if one of us decided to confide her secret to a friend?" I asked, adding hastily, "Not that I ever would."

He said, "You would find yourself forgetting to bring it up, distracted before being able to speak, even suddenly ill. You would not believe that her glamour was the force preventing you from speaking freely, but it would be."

He smiled at this. It seemed like he was almost enjoying the cat and mouse nature of his dealings with Anna Hita.

"Does this ring work for everyone, or just our daughter?" he asked suddenly.

"I don't know. How would we find out?" I asked.

Just then the phone rang, but I didn't pick it up, letting it go to the answering machine. As soon as the light started flashing I played back the message. It was Sheila saying she had to take her sister for her colonoscopy tomorrow morning so she wouldn't be here until around noon.

"Sheila," Eric said, "The perfect guinea pig."

"You're going to try and glamour her?" I asked, fascinated and aghast at the same time.

"Yes, she would be so easy to glamour, unless the ring makes her immune," Eric said.

"Fine, I'll make sure she's still here when you get up," I said. That wouldn't be hard. I had to practically shove her out of the house most nights if she got a glimpse of Eric. He was like catnip to her inner cat.

"We'll need to borrow Charlaine's ring, but we must put it right back on her finger afterwards," I said.

"I agree. The old lady was trying to protect you from me. She did not know you were unable to be glamoured. But she has done us a great favor by giving us the ring. Now our daughter is protected and we will never be ignorant of Anna Hita's glamour again. This is good," he decided.

It would give him the upper hand to know what Anna Hita was up to, if she was up to anything. There was nothing Eric liked better than having the upper hand.

more to come ...... (Good Weekend Fanpires! I really appreciate you stopping by and taking the time to comment. Hug your neck!)


Friday, November 26, 2010

128 - Bundle of Joy ..... Part 2

Chapter One Hundred and Twenty Eight

Kinnan was going to be staying at Jure's house. They knew each other and got along. I wasn't too happy about having anything to do with Jure at all, but Eric assured me that Kinnan was under strict orders not to discuss anything about our family with anyone and especially Jure.

After he dropped us off and brought our suitcases in, Eric drove Kinnan to Jure's house where a car was to be delivered. The car was for Kinnan's own use and to chauffeur our girls around.

That meant it was probably bulletproof and customized with extra security measures like self re-inflating tires and an under mount surround flame thrower to get anyone away from the car for a quick getaway. Even vampires will jump back from a live flame.

"What kind of a car is Kinnan getting?" I asked Eric later as we sorted the mountain of laundry from the three night trip. How did we go through so many clothes?

"A truck-based Cadillac. The salesman said it is like a rolling tank with windows."

He held up Charlotte's red and white striped blouse for me to let him know which basket to put it in. I pointed to the dark load in case the red ran. I don't think she even wore that blouse, why was it in the laundry?

"Good," I said. There was a time I might have cringed at the strange security conscious way we lived, but now I accepted it and was glad.

Eric had to return a call to the research center. When he came back he looked especially pleased. He only had on his worn jeans because he had thrown his tank top in the wash.

He stood in the doorway to the kitchen, just about filling it, hands up on either side of the door frame, looking more handsome and magnificent than ever. He knew this pose emphasized his side muscles and blond underarms and was a favorite of mine. I took this to mean he was trying to distract me from what he was about to tell me.

"Next month they will have finished the preliminary trials and then it will be time for me try Daynight," he said.

"So soon?" I said, dismayed. It had sounded like the trials were going to drag on for another half a year last time he checked.

"Do not worry, my precious wife, I will not leave you," he said, hugging me to him. He was always confident about his well being, but I wasn't. This was uncharted territory, anything could happen.

I had decided not to fight him about this, but I wasn't happy about it. I hoped the Center dragged their feet and had delays like they experienced so many times in the past.

The next day I waited for the chance to get Charlaine alone to talk to her about the night with with the mugger. I wanted to know if she had done something different to avoid being glamoured. When Linda and Adele went to work in the animal shelter, and with Sheila off for the day, I saw my chance.

"Char, could I ask you about something?" I asked her, inviting her to sit down and have an iced tea or a diet coke with me at the kitchen table.

"Sure," she said, looking sunny and pretty in a yellow blouse and khaki shorts. She didn't say no to a few Oreo cookies either.

"The night we went to Anna Hita's, the night the man wanted to mug us, did you notice anything strange?" I asked.

She suddenly looked nervous and wouldn't make eye contact with me. She twisted her garnet ring, thinking. I became alert to something more going on here.

"I did notice something strange. I was going to talk to you about it once I figured out ..." she didn't say what she was going to figure out.

"Once you figured something out?" I prompted.

"Well, yes. It was something strange at Anna Hita's."

"What was it?" I took a sip of my cola, looking calm and nonchalant, but I sensed she was about to tell me something big.

"Mom, she glamoured you," Charlaine said with feeling.

"What do you mean?" I asked, an icy fear running up my spine.

"Right after she said that what she told us must be a secret among us, her eyes got all weird. They got these gold flakes in them that swirled around and she sent out a feeling like ice cold sprinkles and she said, 'You will never reveal this to anyone'. Then her eyes got normal and she went on like nothing had happened.

I was speechless. This means she had also glamoured Eric and he didn't know about it. It means she had glamoured me too.

"And my ring got very warm when she did that. I looked at it and the star inside was glowing. The same thing happened when Daddy glamoured the mugger, my ring got warm and the star glowed. I think it might be a magic ring. Was Aleksis's grandmother a witch?" she asked.

"I didn't think so, but she did have had some magical powers. Maybe she didn't put the magic in the ring, maybe someone else did. We'll have to show it to Amelia to see what she says about it. If this is true and your ring can protect you from being glamoured, then it is very valuable to you. Thanks for telling me about this." I said.

"I didn't want to get everyone mad at Anna Hita. I love her. She was just trying to protect herself. Are you going to tell Daddy about this?" she asked, looking worried.

"I need to tell him, sweetheart, but don't worry. I think he'll understand why she did what she did. I know we love her, but it is still unethical to glamour someone like that. Just because she did it doesn't make it right." I wanted her to be clear on right and wrong in this.

She told me how relieved she was to tell me about this. It had been weighing on her mind and she wasn't sure what to do. I told her she did the right thing to tell me and that I would handle telling Daddy.

That night I waited until Eric rose, then took him to our room to tell him what Charlaine had revealed to me.

more to come .....(ky, Anonymous Z, Cindy, Pat, Lindsay Jo - It was good to hear from you. I enjoy your companionship and appreciate your encouragement. Thank you!)


Thursday, November 25, 2010

127 - Bundle of Joy ..... Part 2

Chapter One Hundred and Twenty Seven

The girls wanted to eat at "The Crypt", a cheesy vampire themed restaurant they had seen advertised dozens of times on TV. The ad was annoying, lots of dry ice fog and spoken in a bad Transylvanian accent.

The wait staff all wore fake plastic fangs over their teeth, making it very difficult to understand what they were saying.

Our waiter had to finally take his fangs out to let me know that rainbow trout was the seafood special of the evening. I wasn't going to order "whaiwhow whouwh" without knowing what that was.

The girls had cheeseburgers and fries, a real treat for them because we didn't go out to eat much at home. It was more nutritious for them to eat home cooked meals and they weren't surrounded by annoying thoughts.

While we were waiting for our food I pointed across the room and exclaimed, "Oh look! Isn't that Tom Cruisin' over there?"

They all looked and craned their necks before they got it. To their credit all three of them blushed to their hairlines.

"It was Linda's idea," Adele said, deciding that throwing her sister under the bus was the way to go.

"Why, Linda?" I asked her. I was over being mad, but I was curious about what motivated her.

She looked at Eric first. I got that she didn't want to say why in front of her father.

"Excuse us for a moment," I said to Eric, Charlaine and Adele.

We left the table, Adele taking the opportunity to monopolize her father and show him her ring.

We went to the little lounge area outside the actual ladies room and sat down on the wooden plank bench provided. It wasn't a bad lounge, just lacking in style.

Across from the bench was a waist high stainless steel shelf and a big unframed mirror on the wall for patrons to set down their bags and check out their appearance before leaving the bathroom area. As no-frills as it was I liked it better than the tacky vampire decorations in the restaurant itself. Dusty rubber bats hanging from the ceiling weren't my idea of decor, vampire or otherwise.

"I wanted to know what it was like, how to .... you know ... do things with a vampire. But the movie wasn't any good. There were no real vampires and the two guys were really ugly - old and hairy." She shuddered at the memory of it, a good sign.

"Are you thinking about becoming sexually active with Hector?" I asked.

We wouldn't need to have the 'birth control' or the 'communicable diseases' conversation, just the 'it would be better if you waited' and the 'he might accidentally kill you' conversation.

"It doesn't matter what I'm thinking about because he never gets any time away from his Maker anyway. We'd have to do it with Dr. Clark in the room watching us," she grumped.

For some reason that struck us both as funny. The more we laughed the funnier it got until we were both howling with laughter. The ladies room attendant stuck her head out of the bathroom with a scowl on her plump face to see what all the laughing was about and that struck us as even funnier. We howled until our insides hurt and our eye make up was all streaky from tears of laughter.

While we fixed our makeup in front of the big smudgy mirror I told Linda, "You know you can ask me about anything. Getting information from those triple X movies is never going to give you the real truth."

"I know that. I was just curious about it," she said.

"I will tell you all about sex with a vampire if you want," I offered.

She looked at me in near panic.

"You mean how you and Daddy do it?" she asked, horrified.

No child wants to hear the intimate details of their parent's sex life. And I couldn't tell her about my experiences with Bill, the vampire I was with before Eric.

Anything I said to her was going to give her mental images of Eric and I rolling around in the sack. I guess I could make it sound like I was speaking theoretically, but that was a poor disguise for the subject. She knew that I was relatively inexperienced when I met and married Eric.

"I'm sure there are helpful books on the subjects you're interested in too. I'm not trying to keep you in the dark about things. In fact, I want you to have as much information as possible. It's the only way you can make informed decisions. You just aren't going to get any good information from pornography."

I briefly wondered if Pam could tell them about sex with a vampire, but I thought better of it. She was not aware that what seemed normal to her might boggle the mind of a human.

At the present time she had two girlfriends - a sixty year old human and a young vampire from Zimbabwe, and four boyfriends, all human. I would have needed to take notes to keep track of her comings and goings, or maybe I should say her comings and her partner's goings since they seemed to disappear with some regularity.

"Is Daddy mad at me?" she asked, changing the subject. Now that we weren't discussing my sex life she made eye contact with me in the mirror. She looked more like me every day.

"No, he's not mad. But he is always thinking about what things mean for our future. Now he is thinking about what it means for his future decisions to know that you ordered this movie against my expressed wishes."

"I'm sorry, Mom. Getting that stupid movie was a big mistake. I wish I could take it back now." She looked so downhearted I hugged her then we joined Eric, Adele and Charlaine for dinner.

On the way back to the palace to get our suitcases I sat next to my husband in the far back seat of our rented limo. While the girls were distracted trying to get Kinnan to acknowledge their existence, Eric raised his eyebrows at me. He was silently asking "How did it go with Linda? Did she tell you why she ordered that pornographic movie?"

I gave him a little smile and squeezed his hand. I was saying, "Yes, we talked and our talk went well. She understands that it was a mistake and I think things are going to be fine."

He squeezed my hand back and gave me quick kiss on the cheek, meaning, "Good, I am glad to hear that. You are a wonderful mother and I love you."

I raised his hand to my lips and gave it a kiss. I was saying "Right back at you. You are a wonderful Daddy to our girls."

Parents have been having these wordless conversations since Adam and Eve, I supposed. It was good Eric and I were on the same page when it came to raising the girls. We got our things from the palace and made our way to the airport.

The limo driver that took us to the airport spoke almost no English. Eric briefly spoke to him in a language I had never heard him use before, a guttural rapid-fire language that sounded like he was trying to clear his throat.

The driver had on a radio station in his own language, but switched it to WWL just as Dave Cohen was giving the news. After hearing about the weather and the traffic I heard a story that made me sit up and take notice.

"Late last night police in the First District fatally shot an armed gunman that entered the police station waving a handgun, threatening to kill the police officers on duty. The gunman, who remains unidentified, was later discovered to have had no ammunition. Police believe the man was under the influence of alcohol and drugs. No further information is known at this time."

The newscaster went on to tell a story about a mother cat that was raising an orphaned baby squirrel among her litter of kittens. The girls cooed over how cute that was. I agreed it was cute, but my mind was on the gunman. Could it possibly be the man that wanted to rob us in the street? Was he really that crazy?

No, he didn't seem to be raving mad. I probably just made the connection because of what happened. I glanced at Eric but he was busy getting out his Anubis pass and his tip for our driver. I don't think he heard the news broadcast. I mentally shrugged off the story, unwilling to worry about it when I had so much else on my mind.

We were dropped off at the front gate and our luggage loaded on a rolling cart. We boarded the medium sized plane, our luggage was secured, then we all flew home together, Kinnan included, thanks to Annubis and our Golden Key.

If I had known how happy it made the girls I would have gotten them a werewolf ex-Marine for Christmas, I thought with an inner laugh, watching them jockeying for position around him on the plane.

more to come .....(Eminé, ky, Anonymous Z, Cindy, sashimistat - Today is Thanksgiving here and I'm thankful for you and the time you took to write and let me know you were here! Happy Thanksgiving to those that celebrate the holiday.)


Wednesday, November 24, 2010

126 - Bundle of Joy ..... Part 2

Chapter One Hundred and Twenty Six

I overslept and was wakened by my big gorgeous husband softly licking his way up my inner thigh. He knew the moment I was awake and slid up the length of my body to lay naked against me, kissing me. We didn't say a word, the only sound was the woosh of the white noise machine I brought with me to block out any outside noises.

"I locked our doors," he whispered in my ear before moving down to my neck to scrape his very sharp pointed fangs against the tender skin at the bend in my neck.

I shuddered with pleasure, glad he had told me about locking the doors before I was awake enough to begin to worry about it. I was able to devote my entire attention on the pleasure he gave me before he fed. He didn't need to feed tonight, this was just for the delight of it.

My thighs trembled uncontrollably as his lips sucked at the two punctures his penetrating fangs had made. I knew objectively they were small holes but to my senses they felt like huge hot open portals that went right to all my pleasure centers.

Every drop of blood that left me took stress, tension and worry with it. Every movement of his skilled tongue made those open wounds feel like they were gaping open more to feel the unbearably sweet sensation along the rim and inside.

Waves of heat and excitement flashed through my body like a drug. I wrapped my hands in his thick blond hair, letting him know by my touch that I loved him and I wanted him to keep doing what he was doing.

When he had brought me over the top I felt him laugh against belly. He loved having so much power over my reactions to him. He healed my punctures, kissing the unbroken skin where they had been when they were healed.

"Shhhhh," he whispered in my ear once he was in me. "They might hear us through the door."

This was what I always said to him when the girls were within listening distance. Then he made it almost impossible for me to keep quiet. He moved oh so slowly, making me press my lips together.

Muffling my moans against his mouth, he kissed me. Then he moved faster bringing both of us to the same conclusion. He was silent, but I was gasping and whispering his name. We lay together for a few minutes while I caught my breath.

"By the way, the girls aren't in their room, they're in the lounge talking to Kinnan," he said quietly against my hair.

That meant I could have made all the noise I wanted. We were at the end of the hall, there were no other rooms nearby. Eric was just playing with me, telling me to keep quiet. I turned my head and stuck my tongue out at him, which he captured with vampire speed and sucked on.

When I could talk again I asked him, "Why are they in the lounge with Kinnan?"

"You were still sleeping so I visited their room after I rose and caught them watching "Intercourse with the Vampire" starring Tom Cruisin' and Brad Package. When they heard me knock they switched to a travel show about Irish monasteries before they opened the door, but I heard the kind of movie they were watching. After they left the room to go sit with Kinnan I clicked the log button and discovered what they had really been watching."

"I set their menu to only receive G and PG rated movies!" I said, so outraged I had to sit up. Those girls!

"I thought as much. I called the service desk and apparently you called them and revised that order so you could watch porn movies with your husband." He smiled and pointed to himself in case I was wondering which husband I planned to watch porn movies with.

Which one of them sounded the most like me, I wondered. Probably Linda. Now all the people at the service desk would think I was up here watching vampire porn. Should I tell them that I wasn't watching it? No, that would just draw more attention.

" 'Intercourse with the Vampire'? Are there real vampires in it?" I asked Eric.

"I doubt it, though I have not seen the movie. We could watch it later if you wish," he said, getting up to shower and get dressed.

"Thanks but no thanks. I get all the intercourse with a vampire I want," I said, getting up too.

"How did Kinnnan work out today?" he asked.

I told him the ex-Marine was all business and seemed right on top of every possible threat. I mentioned that Linda seemed taken with him, but his treatment of her was courteous and aloof, appropriate behavior in a man his age towards a girl her age.

"So why are the girls with Kinnan?" I asked him when he had returned from the shower. I was just putting on my comfortable travel pants suit jacket.

Eric grabbed his worn low slung jeans and a tight tank top to wear. It wasn't as dressy as I was so I told him he could put that on after we took the girls to dinner. He was remarkably good-natured about things like this and instead changed into a cream dress shirt and brown slacks that coordinated with the shade of beige I was wearing.

"Since he is suitable for the job I am adding him to our retinue as a backup for Aleksis, as we discussed," he said, putting his slim belt through the loops.

"Will he be a minion too?" I asked.

Eric looked up from tying his polished shoes.

"A werewolf can not be a minion," he said in the same tone I might have said "A gorilla can not be a prima ballerina."

"Oh. So he'll just be an employee?" I decided to tie my hair back with a white ribbon since I couldn't get my hair to behave tonight.

"A little more than that. The King will also assign him to me, so he will be both an employee and under orders from the King to protect us. That only leaves me with one question."

"What's that?" I got my purse and checked myself in the mirror before leaving the room.

"Who will protect Kinnan from Linda?" Eric said. He turned out the light and we left the room to take the girls to dinner.

more to come ......(ky, Anonymous Z, Lindsay Jo, RW, sashimistat, Sally - Thanks for your continued enthusiasm and your interesting comments and speculations. Most especially thank you for finding time to stop by my blog, I know how hectic and busy life can get, especially this time of year.)


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

125 - Bundle of Joy ..... Part 2

Chapter One Hundred and Twenty Five

The next day as I was waiting in the ticket line at the IMAX theater I began to get a nagging feeling in the back of my mind while the girls were in a different line buying drinks, popcorn and probably candy. Something wasn't right, but I couldn't figure out what it was.

Eric was in a palace safe room, as safe as he would have been at home. Maybe even safer because armed trained werewolf guards patrolled the corridors that led to the safe rooms.

I looked at the girls picking out their sugary treats. I didn't particularly like them eating junk food but that wasn't the source of my niggling worry either.

I had already rationalized that this was their vacation so they could eat unwisely for a few days without ruining their health. I had their little disposable toothbrushes for after the movie. Then we could go on to the zoo and finally shop in some antique shops that specialized in jewelry if we still had the stamina.

I wasn't worried about the safety of the girls either. There were no sinister thought waves coming at us from nearby. Eric, never one to wait, had hired the werewolf from the swimming pool to drive us around in our rental car and keep an eye on things as we had our day. I guess this was a trial to see how he did and how we got along with him. So far so good.

The multi-talented Mr. Kinnan was proficient in water rescue among other things. As an ambassador of the vampire King's goodwill towards humans he taught the life guard classes for free.

His real job was a guard for the King. It was a sign of Eric's value that the King allowed Eric to hire the werewolf. At this moment Cable Kinnan lounged against the entrance wall looking over everyone that came in to the theater, but there was no one that looked out of place. He asked us to call him Kinnan.

My nagging feeling was swept out of my mind as the girls came up to me with their purchases. I made no judgmental comments or facial expressions. If they wanted Good and Plenties, Raisinettes and licorice sticks for lunch that was up to them. I had gotten a diet Coke and sipped it, feeling virtuous.

Once I got the tickets I sent Linda over to give Kinnan his movie ticket. He would sit a few rows behind us so we weren't actually sitting with him during the movie. Linda took the opportunity to try and flirt with him again.

I didn't blame her. Kinnan was a yummy hunk of a man. Big and muscular, with a chestnut brown crew cut and strong masculine features, Kinnan had an easy smile and a soft voice. He was tan, which made his intense hazel eyes pop out of his lean face. His lips had laugh lines around them, but when he was on the job he was stone cold serious. He didn't look like anyone you would want to fool around with.

Kinnan had been in the Marines, the secret branch that used werewolves for undercover operations. They were nicknamed "Moon Dogs". His stern military bearing added to the hard unyielding impassive exterior that was like nectar to my little bee Linda. She wanted to break through that wall of rigid commitment and get him to notice her, smile at her, focus on her.

She buzzed around him, feeling his biceps, talking incessantly, offering him her candy and feasting on him with her eyes. I would need to tell her not to touch him. He wasn't our pet, he was our bodyguard.

He answered her myriad questions and comments with "Yes, Miss", "No, Miss", and "I really couldn't say, Miss".

It didn't appear that he actually looked at her at all as he scanned the theater patrons over her head. She looked like she was going to start jumping up in the air in front of him to enter his field of vision.

I took the girls into the cool dark theater before Linda had some kind of conniption. Kinnan followed us, looking from right to left and back to assess the threat potential. Unless someone had trained soccer moms and underage children to attack us, we were safe.

The movie was an underwater adventure in a coral reef, a simple story made spectacular with 3-D glasses and the humongous screen size. A shark looked like it had swum out of the screen and was about to swallow us up, the sea weed seemed to be all around us.

I actually reached out my hand at one point thinking I could touch the rosy coral, but my hand touched nothing. It reminded me of my experience with a ghost during an ectoplasmic reconstruction I had witnessed.

When the movie was over and the girls had eaten all their candy and popcorn and slurped down every last drop of their sodas, we went to the ladies room, brushed our teeth, then left for the Audubon zoo.

We walked for what seemed like miles to see every type of animal on the planet including white tigers and rare white alligators. I noticed Charlaine took a long time looking at the huge alligators, most likely thinking about Darren's mom.

After that, with the vigor and enthusiasm of youth, they were ready to go shopping for rings. I was ready for a rest but I smiled and matched their enthusiasm. This trip was a rare treat for girls that seldom got to mix with people in the real world. None of them had headaches, a good sign. They were able to withstand the thoughts of others for longer and longer periods of time.

Mercifully at the second shop, Wellington and Company, both Linda and Adele found rings they wanted. Linda found an Art Deco emerald and diamond ring set in platinum and Adele found an Edwardian ring with an old cut diamond set in rose gold.

We had to wait while Adele's ring was sized for her. Kinnan's unwavering stare was making the staff nervous so I asked him to wait outside the door.

At last the girls all had rings meaning we could go back to the palace for a rest. I was used to napping because I stayed up all night with Eric unless I conked out an hour or two before dawn.

The girls didn't stay up as late so they had more rest the next day. As I sat in the back of the rental car listening to Linda trying to get Kinnan to say something besides his three polite responses I revisited my earlier uneasy feeling. It was still there. What was bothering me?

The girls went to their room to phone, text, and talk about Kinnan. One of the conditions of our outing today was no phones and no texting, this was our time together. I didn't want to have to compete with their electronic companions. I hoped they would nap too but that was up to them. The exuberance of their youth was a beautiful thing but wearing on their mother.

I removed all my clothing, showered, brushed my teeth, got in a white silk night gown, pulled the shutters closed and lay down for a serious nap. I had told the girls to order dinner in the room if they wanted it, otherwise we would eat together once Eric rose.

They were also allowed to order G and PG movies in their room if they wanted. They wanted the R movies to be included on their menu but I always watched an R rated movie first for content. Some R rated movies were all right for them if I could lay the groundwork first for what they would be seeing.

Now that they were fed and entertained for the next couple of hours I had a few minutes to think before sleep overtook me. I realized what I wanted to think about, what had been bothering me.

When Eric had glamoured the mugger, why hadn't Charlaine been affected?

more to come .....

****Just a reminder for those who have joined me after the first story. ****

~~~ I began these stories before book nine was released, therefore any changes in characters in books nine and ten - deaths and births - will not be reflected in my story. The same is true for the TV series. After season one the events are not included. ~~~

Anonymous Z, Cindy, ky, Marlene, Eminé, RW, sashimistat, clared, Lindsay Jo - So glad to hear from you. Thanks for taking the time to read my chapter and leave a comment. I'm grateful.

RW, sashimistat - Welcome welcome welcome! Thank you so so much for letting me know you're here and reading along, it means the world to me. I really appreciate your kind words and interest.


Monday, November 22, 2010

124 - Bundle of Joy ..... Part 2

Chapter One Hundred and Twenty Four

They all nodded, staring at her with wide blue eyes.

"This time and dimension travel is not easy to do. It takes me a long time to recover when I return. It is also extremely dangerous. If I changed the slightest thing in our past, in this dimension, the whole future would be different. I would return to a world I might not even recognize. I never ever change anything in our past."

Again she waited while the girls digested this.

"We saw a movie with Mom and Dad called 'The Butterfly Effect'," Linda said. "It was about a man named Evan Treborn, played by Ashton Kutcher, that tried to change the past to improve the present but he kept screwing up and the present just kept getting worse, not better."

"I thought the guy was just crazy," Adele said to Linda, "Not that he could really travel through time like he thought."

I saw that the same squabble the girls had after the movie about whether the young man was just crazy or whether he could really time travel was going to erupt now if I didn't step in. I also didn't think Anna Hita would know who Ashton Kutcher is. I thought the name "Treborn" was a sly reference to the fact that there were going to be two sequels, but that was neither here nor there.

"Be that as it may, why don't we let Anna Hita continue since you seem to be familiar with the concept of time travel," I suggested, gently but forcefully, a trick I learned from Gran.

"Okay," they said in unison. They wanted to hear what Anna Hita had to say.

"I can visit nearby dimensions and there, too, I am careful not to change anything. In the slice of reality right next to this one I discovered an Eric that did not live long enough to become Vampire. Instead he died in battle a month before he met his Maker. He died a human and a hero on the battlefield." Anna Hita smiled at Eric, warmth radiating from her to him.

Their eyes as wide as saucers the girls said nothing, speechless with wonder.

"Right before he left for battle I asked this human Eric for his seed. I did it in a way that would not remain in his mind to distract him from the upcoming fight."

"You mean you glamoured him and got him to give you ... you know...," Linda said, looking down, embarrassed.

"You are exactly right. I did this for five days in a row, returning to the exact same time and harvesting the seed. I did this so I could return to the present time in this dimension and bring your parents the frozen seed, giving them the opportunity to have children. What I did had never done before, but your parents are unique. Their love was written in the stars. I did this, and the marvelous result is ... you." She gracefully gestured towards all three girls, her bracelets making a faint tinkling sound.

They sat there, taking all this in. Then Linda said, "If there is more sperm in storage then Mom and Dad could have more children."

I wondered if the girls wished they had a bigger family. I had tried to conceive again when they were much younger but the sperm I had inseminated was stored in my inner pouch. It might be ninety more years before they were released to fertilize three of my eggs.

Could I stay human that long and not drive Eric to despair? I doubted it. If I did wait would any of my girls still be alive to meet their sibling, or would they have lived, aged and died? I felt a bubble of panic and focused my mind on the present.

"That is so," Anna Hita said mildly. "More children could be conceived. That is a matter for your mother and father to decide. Now I must ask you to never tell anyone what I have revealed you about my special powers. If it were known by certain unscrupulous beings it would be dangerous for me and for the world we live in right now. It is good for you to know the truth about your heritage, but it must stay a secret among us."

We all said we would never tell anyone about her gift to us.

There was another long pause while we all thought about what she had said, then Anna Hita said, in a much brisker tone, "Now that you know, we must speak of other things. Tell me what your plans are for this trip."

Tomorrow I was taking the girls to an IMAX theater and then to the zoo. Tomorrow night we were going home because the girls had school the next day. We told her this.

She had a gold bracelet for each of the girls, a belated fifteenth birthday present. Charlaine's was set with amethyst because she loved purple. Linda's gold bracelet was set with blue turquoise and Adele's had orange fire opals. It was good of Anna Hita to remember their favorite colors. She must have had the bracelets custom made.

This must be the week for jewelry. I remembered I had told Adele that we would visit some antique jewelry shops to look for vintage rings for her and Linda to make up for Charlaine getting my garnet ring.

I noticed that Charlaine was rubbing her ring and twisting it on her finger. I hoped it wasn't bothering her. Maybe the chlorine from the pool had gotten under it and irritated her delicate skin.

They thanked her and admired their bracelets while Anna Hita discussed things with Eric. She asked him about the development of Daynight and how his sheriff duties might change because of it. He said it was all unknown, it would need to be worked out as developments arose.

Eric told Anna Hita how well Lingza was coming along.

"Charlaine can talk to him," Linda bragged.

Charlaine explained how she knew a little sign language and that brought up the subject of Darren. Not to be outdone Adele told Anna Hita she was dating a werewolf, not exactly the truth because they seemed to have broken off seeing each other after Rory hurt her feelings. Eric's mouth tightened slightly, but he did not object to what she was saying. Smart man.

"Do you have a young man too?" Anna Hita asked Linda.

"Not really. I like a newly Turned vampire named Hector, but he's so new his Maker keeps him practically locked up in the Research center," she complained.

"In time he will be able to socialize more," Anna Hita said. "His Maker is trying to protect you."

Anna Hita told us that she was taking an extended trip and might not be back until after the start of the new year. I wondered where she was going for so long and who would fill in as Scryer while she gone. Probably no one. I didn't think there was another vampire like her.

We talked a while longer, then it was time for us to leave. The girls thanked her again for their beautiful bracelets and we all hugged. I was very grateful to her for telling the girls the truth about their parentage. It was a generous thing to do and it was a risk for her. We would honor her request for secrecy.

Our walk back to the palace was interrupted by a man that crossed the street ahead of us, coming towards us. His thoughts were dark and drug muddled, but by the time he got to our side of the poorly lit street I knew he was going to try and rob us and that he had a gun in the back of his waistband.

"Eric, he's got a gun, he's going to rob us," I said quickly, moving the girls behind their father. Eric could take a bullet and survive but we couldn't.

The man, still half a football field away, hadn't even started to reach for his gun when Eric hit him with glamour.

"Wowie," Linda whispered to me, "Daddy's doing that thing again!"

I nodded. She could feel his glamour like I did.

The man stopped still, the slack look on his sweating unshaven face becoming even slacker. He wore modern trendy clothes, but up close I could see that they were filthy. He reeked of alcohol too. He would have to be drunk and on drugs and maybe even insane to try and mug a vampire.

I knew Eric wanted to do something really bad to the man, but he didn't want to scar the minds of our daughters with a bloody scene. Eric went to the immobilized man, reached behind him and removed the gun, taking out the bullets and putting them in his blue linen suit pocket.

Then he bent down, because he was a foot taller than the mugger and said something quietly in the man's ear. He replaced the gun in his waistband. Eric stepped back and the man staggered off down the street.

"You're just going to let him go?" Adele said, outraged.

"He will turn himself in to the police," Eric said.

Charlaine said, "Yes, but what will they arrest him for? Even if he says he tried to rob somebody they wouldn't have any proof."

"They will take care of him," Eric said. "Let us not mar our evening one second further by thinking or speaking of him."

We resumed our walk to the palace.

"Can I have one of those bullets as a souvenir?" Linda asked.

"Certainly," Eric said, removing one of the bullets from his pocket and giving it to her. Of course the other two wanted one too.

"What are you going to do with them?" I asked.

A car went by us and slowed to take a better look at us. The wife in the car had never seen a real vampire before. She wondered if Eric was a vampire pimp and me and the girls were his stable of hookers. I tuned out of her mind before I was tempted to throw a shoe at their car.

"We're going to start trinket boxes and keep things that are special to us," Adele said.

"And these bullets are special to you?" I asked them.

"Hell yeah! Our Daddy kicks ass!" Linda said before remembering she was speaking to her mother.

"I mean ....," she quickly began to amend.

"I know what you mean. You're right, Daddy does kick ass." I put my arm through Eric's as we entered the palace and gave his thick arm a squeeze.

The girls giggled to hear me use a bad word.

more to come ...... (Howdy fanpires! Happy Monday - thanks so much for showing up here and leaving a comment. It is always appreciated.)


Sunday, November 21, 2010

123 - Bundle of Joy ..... Part 2

Chapter One Hundred and Twenty Three

Anna Hita, always exotic and unique, greeted us in her scrying parlor. Unlike most vampires, she was happy to hug us all and get her cheeks kissed by the girls. They examined her many beautiful bracelets and exclaimed over the precious gems they contained. Anna Hita wore her bracelets from her graceful wrists to her elbows.

Tonight Anna Hita was dressed in white and red. Her floor length white silk sheath dress was trimmed in glittering red glass beads. The tiny hand sewn beads cascaded down the length of her dress in random rivulets that somehow manged to accent her lush and curvaceous figure. The sides of the dress were slit to her knees. Soft white leather sandals with red glittering accents matched the red tone of her toe nail polish, her soft white feet looked like she had a pedicure a few minutes ago.

Eric wanted to speak with her privately for a moment, so the girls and I sat in the parlor on the cushioned chairs used for her patrons while Eric and Anna Hita went into her attached apartment to talk. She pulled aside the unicorn tapestry to reveal the door to her private part of the building. They entered, leaving us alone for a little while.

"Why does Daddy want to talk to Anna Hita first?" Linda asked.

"Your father doesn't tell me everything," I said, "They go back a long way."

This was true but evasive. Eric wanted to tell his GrandMaker that he did not want the girls to be glamoured, he would prefer that she just not tell them anything than to tell them the truth and then glamour them. How he had the nerve to tell her anything was a wonder. It must be like telling the president of the United States to hush up.

"Is she his Maker?" Linda asked.

She shifted positions and her antique chair creaked. The old carved wooden table and chairs in the parlor were from another era, probably Victorian. The chairs weren't made for comfort, but the detailed carving of flowers and leaves on the backs and arms was remarkably intricate and beautiful.

We had never discussed the topic of Makers. Where was she learning about this, online? Probably. It was a great highway of information, some accurate, some semi-accurate and some wildly false.

"Honey, I know you don't know this, but it is considered rude in vampire culture to ask about someone's Maker." I said. "But to answer your question the answer would be no, she isn't."

Linda looked like she had about a million more questions but that was when Eric returned.

"Come," he said, holding the tapestry aside for us to enter the inner sanctum.

We got up from the antique chairs and went past Eric into the apartment.

Entering her light and golden rooms was always a surprise. Some very tricky concealed lighting gave the whole room a warm glow. The white brocade furniture, ivory and butter-cream oriental rug and gilded wood arms and legs of the furniture reflected the light, as did several shiny golden objects including a large golden pyramid that sat on her sculpted mantel. Behind the pyramid was a huge gilt framed mirror that sent the light back to the room.

Although her building was old, the marble mantel looked to be much older, maybe dating from the sixteen hundreds. It was bowed out near the top giving the sides and profile a graceful line like a beautiful busty woman in an off-white dress. An elaborate medallion in the center of the mantel looked like a shell, but it was decorated with leaves and curls. Was there anyone alive today that could carve marble like that, I wondered.

"Tell me what you have been learning in school," Anna Hita asked the girls after we were all comfortably seated. No refreshments were ever offered here, though some vampires did keep beverages and snacks for humans.

That was all the encouragement the girls needed. They told her about their art class with the naked model, causing Anna Hita to raise her thin high arched eyebrows and look scandalized. Of course she wasn't really scandalized, but she knew the girls would have been disappointed if they couldn't get a rise out of her with a story about a naked man.

Anna Hita's make up never changed. Up close you could see that her black eyeliner and green eye shadow was actually tattooed on, giving her beautiful almond shaped eyes definition. The upwards black line extended an inch past the outside edge of her eyes, making her eyes cat like when they were open wide.

They went on about Mr. Tesla, Mr. Warhol, Gordon, their new cousin and other things. While they talked I thought about what I was going to tell Adele now that Anna Hita was not going to tell them the story of how they were conceived.

When they wound down Anna Hita said to them, "I have something to tell you. Are you prepared to hear about your father?"

I looked at Eric, concerned. He gave me a nod, meaning that he had discussed this with her and it was all right.

"You mean Daddy?" Linda asked, looking over at her father.

"Yes. As you probably know, a vampire can not reproduce," she paused, giving them time to adjust to the powerful topic she was about to address.

All three girls looked at Eric. Charlaine's eyes turned red and brimmed with tears. She took Linda's hand.

"We don't care who our actual father is," Charlaine said fiercely, her chin raised. "Daddy is the one that raised us so he's our father. Our biological father isn't anything we care to know about."

Eric's usually expressionless face visibly flinched. Finding out his daughters had been struggling with this painful issue, believing that he was not blood of their blood, must have hit him in the heart like an emotional stake. He recognized the importance of the topic we were addressing.

I too was stunned. Linda and Charlaine had already discussed this and given it thought. They decided they weren't going to bring it up, probably to avoid hurting Eric's feelings. They had to wonder who their biological father was, but they loved Eric more. He must realize why they had decided to never ask about it.

I looked at Adele. "I didn't tell them anything, I promise!" she protested.

Linda and Charlaine stared at Adele.

"We never told you what Linda found out on the library computer, how did you hear about it?" Charlaine asked.

She and Linda had obviously been trying to shield Adele from finding out they were not Eric's biological children and at my request Adele had kept quiet to prevent Linda and Charlaine from finding out. What a mess!

All our girls were smart, they would have read about this sooner or later and realized that under normal conditions Eric could not possibly be their biological father.

I had not planned for this. It hurt my heart to know my girls had been suffering and struggling with this issue. How long had they been carrying this pain in their hearts? How long had they felt like we were all living a lie?

"Please, let me continue," Anna Hita's gentle melodic voice went on.

As I did, the girls heard her as much through their telepathic abilities as from their ears, making her meaning known despite her sometimes very heavy accent. Eric also heard her clearly, maybe projecting her words telepathically was another gift she had.

"Vampires acquire abilities with age. I am very old, older than you can imagine. This has given me a unique ability. I can travel through time. I can also visit nearby parallel dimensions. They are worlds very similar to our own, but each one has taken some different direction with different outcomes. Are you following this so far?" she asked them.

I was delighted. Good for her! She was telling it like it is and holding nothing back. She was going to tell them the whole truth.

more to come .....(Happy Sunday everyone! Thanks for stopping by.)


Saturday, November 20, 2010

122 - Bundle of Joy ..... Part 2

Chapter One Hundred and Twenty Two

After an hour of watching the girls drown I stood up and reminded them that they would need to rest to visit Anna Hita tonight. Reluctantly they got their robes on and gathered their things, deciding to go upstairs the way they were. They would shower and do their hair and make up in their room. Their flip flops made a slapping sound as they walked towards the elevators.

Linda reluctantly said good bye to Cable, the man that had asked them to help out with their training. I saw her slip him a piece of paper but I pretended not to see it.

Had she already written her phone number down in case she ran into a guy she was interested in? She was the most organized of the girls and the best planner, I wouldn't put it past her.

Cable looked to be about twenty five so I doubted if he would call her. After floundering in the pool the girls looked about twelve years old with their hair wet and their make up washed off.

Several of the human men were thinking that it was good their mama had been here, no sense in messing with jail bait. Linda must have picked this up because her shoulders stiffened and she flip flopped off in a huff.

Some of the other men were thinking things that were a little cruder, though none of them were so bad that I wanted to go up to them and slap them. Maybe the Speedos cut down on nasty thoughts since the results of that kind of thinking would be so immediately apparent. Cable Kinnan seemed to be the only werewolf in the bunch.

Linda used my shower so only Charlaine and Adele would need to share the one in their room. Then they all went in their room to compare notes on the guys, giggle, do their hair and nails and hopefully rest up a little. They hadn't called for a poolside meal once the life guards showed up so they were probably starving. I decided we would eat as soon as Eric rose.

I heard a little knock on the adjoining door between our rooms and I opened it. It was Charlaine. She was dressed in a light purple flowered summer dress with a matching sweater draped over her shoulders. She wore her sunny wavy blond hair in a silky natural style that hung to her shoulders.

She asked if she could put her make up on in my room since Linda and Adele were using all the mirrors in their room. I invited her in, feeling like there was something more on her mind. I guess this meant they didn't need a nap.

"Mom, why do men think the kind of things they do?" she asked, applying a little blusher to cheeks that didn't need any. She had a natural healthy glow and a peaches and cream flawless complexion.

"I guess you could ask that about anyone. I have had thoughts I'm not proud of, you probably have too. It's just the way things are. Nobody expects someone to be listening in on their thoughts. They think there's no harm to it and most times there isn't. You can use your ability to find out if someone is planning to do something bad to you. That is a valuable thing to know. Is there something in particular that was bothering you?"

We had discussed this many times over the years, but I was always glad when they came to me with their concerns. It was painful to know how some people thought about you, a pain I couldn't take away from them. They were going to have to learn how to cope with it just as I did.

"It kind of takes the fun out of things, you know?" She put on a little smoky eyeshadow, then her pink lip gloss.

I nodded and empathized, "I know, believe me. I used to work in a bar and grill and some of the thoughts I picked up were truly offensive. But what could I do about it? I couldn't slap a customer because he was having a nasty fantasy about me. I had to learn to ignore it and carry on, but honey I know it's hard."

I tried not to feel guilty for visiting my curse of telepathy on them. Should I have even had children? It was a little late to worry about that now.

She asked, "Do you think Darren thinks ugly things like that too?"

I suspected this was what was really bothering her. I understood her dilemma. On the one hand it was wonderful not to know what the other person was thinking, on the other hand you had to suspect that their thoughts might be just as lewd and crude.

"I don't know what Darren's thinking about, neither do you. Isn't that a whole lot better than what happened today?" I asked, smiling at her.

"Yes, I suppose it is. Darren has always been very respectful of me," she said.

"Actions speak louder than words, or thoughts," I said, coming up behind her to hug her. "It's a huge burden to bear, hearing the thoughts of others. I'm proud of how you're learning to handle your gift."

I always spoke of their telepathy as a gift or a blessing, hoping that they would find a positive use for their strange ability. Charlaine stood up, brushing off her dress.

"The sun's setting, Mom," she said, turning around so I could see how she looked. "Daddy will be up soon. Can we go eat right away?"

"As soon as your father and I get dressed we'll go to dinner. You look lovely, Charlaine, like a breath of summer."

Pleased with my approval, she went back to hurry up her sisters so they would all be ready to go to dinner as soon as Eric and I were dressed. I had showered earlier and had a few big rollers in my hair.

I pulled on my blue skimmer dress and slipped my feet in the matching flats. I didn't need stockings, I had a skin cream with a tanner in it that left my legs looking just l had spent a week sunbathing.

I took the rollers out and was just putting the brush to my hair when Eric came in. He kissed my neck and smelled my Obsession cologne.

"Were you swimming today?" he asked.

"No, but I was at the pool watching the girls. Do I still reek of chlorine?" I asked, raising my lips to his.

After a bit he said, "Not reek, no. But it is detectable, as is the odor of many men," he said, pulling me towards the bed.

I resisted. "Eric, the girls are starving because they skipped lunch. Get dressed and I'll tell you about our afternoon at the pool."

He changed directions and went to the closet, getting out his light weight blue linen summer suit. He wouldn't notice the difference in body temperature if he had worn a wool overcoat, but it made me feel cooler to look at him in the thinner more fluid fabric. His large muscular frame filled out the expensive beautifully cut suit and made it go from suave to sexy as he moved.

As he dressed I told him about the Speedo men and Cable Kinnan, but I didn't mention Linda giving him a piece of paper. As long as he didn't call her there was no harm done.

"Cable, yes, I know him," Eric said, knotting his tie in the mirror. "He is a good man to have around. I was thinking of hiring him."

"Hiring him to do what?" I asked.

Eric looked at me in the mirror as he did up his tie.

"As a backup for Aleksis. I have spoken with Aleksis about his attitude. He seems to have accepted the time frame I set up for his transformation, but I want to be sure we have enough security for all three of our daughters. Two bodyguards at this stage would not be excessive."

He was not satisfied with the relative lengths of his tie ends and retied it, frowning a little in concentration.

"What did you tell Aleksis?" I asked his reflection.

"I told him he could leave his human life when our daughters turned twenty-one. I gave him my word," Eric said, turning around for my approval.

He looked really handsome in blue. I had on a matching blue dress so we made a striking couple. Once the girls joined us with their pretty blend of Eric and my features I knew we would turn heads where ever we went.

This was not necessarily a good thing because Eric had to be vigilant to keep the girls from being photographed.

We did not want their pictures to become public, it would mean additional body guards for each of them every time they left the house. I knew Charlaine wasn't going to want to bring a body guard on her summer trip with Darren. If they could melt into society without ever becoming publicly recognizable they might be able to live their lives unguarded.

I was wondering how Eric was going to Turn Aleksis when the girls were twenty-one and still be able to Turn me when they were twenty-five, but I didn't have a chance to ask him before our ravenous daughters descended on us.

We dined in the palace restaurant where security was excellent. Vampire heads of state didn't want their family and friends photos bandied about. As in Fangtasia, an unauthorized photo could result in a crushed camera or phone, or even a badly bruised hand. Some vampires basked in publicity, but they knew their human family and friends could be targeted by those who still hated vampires.

Discreet guards constantly patrolled the areas in the palace that vampires used. Werewolves by day and vampires by night provided the best security in the world, backed up by many invisible security cameras.

Bill had helped set up the computerized security camera system, he had told me it was top rate. There were hidden eyes on everything that happened in the palace and maybe hidden ears too.

In the past Eric and I had been discreet when discussing matters sensitive to the King, choosing to wait to have those talks when we were far away from the monitored areas of the palace. Eric promised me no cameras were recording us in our marital bed.

After dinner we strolled to the sketchier section of New Orleans, the neighborhood that held Anna Hita's historical building. It was a tall narrow brick building without anything on the outside to show it housed one of the world's most ancient and powerful vampires.

more to come .....(Anonymous Z, Eminé, Marlene, ky, Cindy, Tamara, Lindsay Jo, Sally, Deanna, Clared - Ah, a Speedo on the right guy is a beautiful thing, is it not? But on the wrong guy ... not so much. Hope you are enjoying your Saturday. Thanks for the comments and the fun of your company!

Clared - Thanks for letting me know Hugh Jackman is from Austrailia. Another hunky wonder from the land down under! I have corrected my previous chapter.)


Friday, November 19, 2010

121 - Bundle of Joy ..... Part 2

Chapter One Hundred and Twenty One

We stayed very late at the amusement park so no one got up until mid-afternoon the next day. The girls wanted to go use the pool and the sauna but I didn't feel like it. I let them go by themselves.

I hadn't discussed this with Eric, but the guest wing of the palace was so heavily guarded that I didn't think there would be any danger for them down by the pool. All the guards would know these were Eric's children meaning they would be guarded within an inch of their lives.

Eric was in favor with the King so our stay here would be top rate, including security for his family. The guards knew how to be both vigilant and inconspicuous. The girls might not even realize their every move was being scrutinized for possible threats.

Linda called me when they got there and told me where they were going to be. There were two lifeguards on high perches. She laughed about the whole pool area's very intense campy Egyptian decor. It was an ongoing source of amusement for us because it looked like a movie set from the 1960's.

That intense Egyptian decor was a left over from the old regime of Queen Sophie-Anne LeClerq. I told Linda to call me back in an hour and let me know what was happening and reminded her that they were going to see Anna Hita tonight.

I wanted to just sit and maybe think. Life with the girls had seemed so fast paced lately, between their classes, homework, their social lives and the constant outbreaks of bickering between them.

On the one hand I dreaded the day they would move away to fulfill lives of their own, but a little part of me wondered what life would be like after that? Peaceful, quiet, just me and Eric like we used to be. Would that be enough after all this?

If I kept to my schedule I was going to be Turned in about ten years. I had ten more years to enjoy this human existence, then I would lose all the things I knew to step into the great unknown of being a vampire.

Every time I tried to think about it I got a falling feeling in my tummy, like I would fall endlessly and never land. It was more than my mind could grasp.

The phone in my hand rang. It had been eight minutes since I last spoke to Linda.

"Hi Mom, we were wondering if we could order lunch by the pool? We won't get the lobster or anything like that," she said.

"Sure honey, go ahead and get whatever you want. This is your vacation. Your father and I want you to enjoy yourselves," I said.

"Thanks Mom!" she said.

Before she ended the connection I heard the other two girls shrieking maniacally with laughter in the background. This meant they were either splashing water on each other or there were cute guys near by.

Either way I thought I better go see what was going on. That made nine minutes to myself. No wonder I didn't have two thoughts to rub together most of the time. Sometimes I felt like my brains were turning into scrambled eggs with the constant demands of raising the three girls.

I walked through the lengthy maze of palace hallways to the pool on the lower level. The over-the-top Egyptian decor hadn't changed any. Past a huge statue of the sphinx as it was before it was eroded and damaged there were two rows of ivory colored pillars that flared out at the top into a stylized leaf design. The pillars surrounded and defined the tiled pool area. Tinted lights were recessed in the ceiling and gave a golden glow to the whole pool area, simulating sunshine, though no ray of sun had ever touched this room. I smelled chlorine and dampness.

The walls were done in a cobalt blue and gold geometric design with bas-relief pyramids separating the panels. Living palm trees in huge lavender decorated pots stood in the corners. A large banner with hieroglyphics and the winged Isis was draped across the high coffered gold leaf ceiling, reminding me of the time I had actually seen the goddess Isis in Anna Hita's apartment.

It turned out I was doubly right. They were splashing each other with water and there were cute guys near by. I immediately saw that I had neglected to tell them to bring their one piece suits. Why did they always opt to pick out their most revealing outfits? Was Eric's nudist gene influencing their judgment?

All three girls were in bikinis, though they were as modest as a bikini can be, which isn't very. Besides an elderly couple in the hot tub, the girls and about twenty fit handsome young men in Speedos were the only ones at the pool.

The girl's faces fell when they first saw me, then they tried to look like they were happy to see me. Nice try, but their fake smiles didn't fool me. They wanted me up in the room while they flaunted themselves in front of these men. Well, that wasn't going to happen.

"Mom! Is everything all right?" Linda asked me, surprised to see me and surprised to have me see them.

"Yes, everything's fine. Who are all these men?" I asked her out of earshot of the Speedo men.

"They are some kind of life guard training school. The King is letting them use the palace pool for their training."

That was in keeping with the vampire policy of benevolent works and charity events to raise money for human causes and help human concerns. It had been very successful. Offering the royal pool to a life guard training class would be right in keeping with the many small and large gestures the King made towards the human community.

Over the last twenty years the good publicity had done much to give the general public a positive view of vampires. Hate crimes were almost non-existent and most chapters of the Fellowship of the Sun had shriveled up and died due to lack of interest.

"Miss?...." The oldest of the cute tanned life guards said to Charlaine.

He looked like a young Hugh Jackman but he didn't have the Australian accent. He was some kind of shifter. I thought I detected the mental signature for werewolf. All the other men were human.

"Yes?" she answered, sitting on the edge of the pool trying to look comfortable with all these men and all their minds. I noticed with approval that she still had on her garnet ring.

"Could you and your friends help us out?" he asked, flashing her a momentary white grin.

His hazel eyes sparkled with self-assurance, this was a man that knew who he was and what he was about. He also had the very erect posture and the confident demeanor that comes with serious military training. There was not a molecule of body fat on him, reminding me of Jason in his prime.

"Help you do what?" Adele asked, trying to take over the conversation.

At the same moment Charlaine said, "These are my sisters and my mother."

"Your mother?" the man said, looking from one of us to the other.

He couldn't tell which one of us was supposed to be the mother. He finally focused on me, maybe because I looked a little older and I was dressed in street clothes.

"Are you their mother?" he asked me in that astonished way people had when I was introduced. At this point I only looked about five or six years older than my daughters. I had no desire to explain my life to these men so I just said "Yes, I am."

"Wow," he said, "Good genes! Can your daughters help us out? We need victims."

He laughed and said, "Let me put that another way. We are training how to rescue someone that is in trouble in the water. Would any of your daughters be willing to pretend to drown so we can rescue them?"

Linda immediately said, "I would," beating Adele to the punch for once.

There were some gilded, carved and brightly painted chaise lounges in the area that looked like they might have been stored in a pyramid over the centuries. I decided to sit down and keep a motherly eye on the proceedings.

"If they want to pretend to be drowning for you that's all right with me," I said, giving them the freedom to do what they wanted.

Before I sat down he introduced himself as Cable Kinnan, the instructor for the new trainees. He mentioned that he also gave swimming lessons at the Audubon Park swimming pool on Thursdays and Saturdays, just in case I was interested. He was most likely thinking I was probably divorced and would enjoy a little male companionship. I didn't bother to set him right.

For the next hour the girls were flailing, splashing and screaming for help while one handsome man after another dove in and heroically dragged them to the side, keeping their heads above water and coping with their staged panic. The girls were in Speedo heaven and I found the whole thing entertaining.

Since I was doing a bird imitation, that is, watching them like a hawk, the men were very careful where they placed their hands while rescuing the girls, I was pleased to note.

more to come .....(Happy Friday Fanpires! Thanks for stopping by and I hope to see you over the weekend.)


Thursday, November 18, 2010

120 - Bundle of Joy ..... Part 2

Chapter One Hundred and Twenty

Thanks to our Golden Key open ticket with Annubis Airlines we flew to New Orleans in comfort. Our rental car was waiting for us and Eric drove us to the palace.

We went to a nice restaurant for dinner and then saw a stage show, Undead Vengeance, about a vampire detective solving a crime humans couldn't solve. It had a tricky twist at the end that I didn't see coming, and the acting was wonderful.

People still insisted on thinking of vampires as the "undead" but they were obviously alive in some way. I hope the Research Center could clear that up someday.

That was about the limit the girls could stand to be in a crowded place before their efforts to block out the thoughts of the people around them gave them a throbbing head.

I knew it would continue to get better with age but that didn't help them right now. We stopped in the ladies room before we left the theater and the girls each took an Advil for their headache. It was like squinting while reading because you needed glasses, you can only do it for so long before your head is killing you. Too bad there weren't thought glasses for the mind.

We went for a walk around town, avoiding the main streets crowded with people. The girls were window shopping and talking, walking ahead of us. Strolling past a few people didn't put the mental strain on them that sitting with a crowd did.

The next day the girls and I got our hair and nails done, then had facials. We had our make up professionally applied and, feeling especially pretty, we walked around the Vampire Mall while the girls picked out clothes and shoes.

They were still growing, filling out in womanly ways, and needed new things every six months or so. We saw a puppet show, a demonstration on a grill that also steamed the food and we tried samples of the finished chicken kebabs. I was tempted to get one of the grills until Charlaine reminded me we already had an electric grill we never used.

When we were shopped out we went back to our rooms to rest up for our night in Vampire Land, the vampire themed amusement park. Tonight was reserved for just vampires and their families so the girls wouldn't have too many minds to try and block out.

Eric woke me up with kisses and words of love whirling me up into a passionate embrace before I had a chance to worry about the girls hearing us. He got up and silently locked the adjoining door.

The girls were in the next room. The palace guest rooms were soundproofed so I felt free to give in and make love with wild abandon. It was like the first days of our marriage only better. Eric fed from me and I took a tiny drop of his blood for the pleasure of it. Then we switched positions and made love again, this time slower and with more kissing, sensuous and loving.

After our showers we dressed casually and called Charlaine on her cell phone. She said they were all dressed and ready to go. We met in the hall, linked arms, and practically skipped to the elevator, excited and happy to have this night together.

The night was so balmy we had the car windows open when we approached the amusement park. We saw the brightly lit rides and the light breeze carried the nonstop cacophony of music, rides and happy eager voices.

Eric parked in the half empty lot outside the vampire entrance. Vampires always got in free because the tourists came to Vampire Land to see real vampires. The tourist entrances had large signs outlining proper behavior -







I liked Vampire Land best when it was vampires only. It was much less crowded and the vampires gave everyone their own space. It was beyond rude for a vampire to bump into another vampire so the people on the midway were nicely spaced.

The girls went from ride to ride, stuffing themselves with cotton candy, ice cream cones, and popcorn along the way. Because vampires didn't eat food my hungry human daughters had their choice of food vendors eager to serve them. On this occasion I didn't say anything to them about their choices, they were here to have fun. I hoped no one would get a tummy ache.

While I waited for the girls to emerge from the House of Horrors I called Jason to check on Gordon. I had already made arrangements to keep the big dog at the shelter for a few days but both Adele and Jason were concerned that Gordon might think we were bringing him back to the shelter for good. Jason came and got the dog, bringing baby Brett along so he could see his cousins.

"He's doing fine, I think. He mostly just lays on his bed and watches what we do. I had him out a couple times for walks. He likes to run so I did that with him until I ran out of breath," Jason laughed.

I reassured Jason that laying around and sleeping was Gordon's usual behavior, not a sign of depression. We chatted a bit more, then the girls came shrieking out of the House of Horrors, accusing each other of being afraid. I put Adele on the phone so she could talk mushy baby to Gordon, just like I used to do with Roscoe, then she hung up.

Eric was enjoying seeing his girls have fun. He looked so much like he did the first time we went to Vampire Land. I recalled what Sam had said to me at their birthday party, it was like all those years in between hadn't happened.

"What are you thinking?" Eric asked, as we watched the girls board the Flying Coffins ride.

"I was thinking about how you look the same as you did when we first came here," I said, looking up at him.

"You do too," he said, smiling down at me while flying coffins circled over his head.

"I may look the same on the outside, but inside I show every one of my more than forty years," I said.

He smiled and nodded knowingly. I looked at my young handsome virile husband and realized that he was more than a thousand years old.

How could such a youthful charming exterior contain the centuries of experiences he has known and losses he has sustained?

Once again I marveled at what inner fortitude Eric had to keep going forward, changing with the times, adapting to a world filled with things and ideas undreamed of in his human life.

"Can't tell a book by its cover, huh?" I said, leaning against him. The ride hummed on while fun spooky music played and our daughters shrieked.

"All that glitters is not gold," he responded, giving me a little nudge with his shoulder to show he was playing the cliché game with me.

"Beauty is only skin deep." I loved these word games with him.

"A rose by any other name would smell as sweet," he said, inhaling the fragrance of my hair.

"Beauty is in the eye of the beholder." I looked him up and down and winked flirtatiously.

"An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth," he said, showing me his fangs.

"That which does not kill you makes you stronger," I said, giving myself an extra five points for that one.

"The only thing we have to fear is fear itself," he said, kissing me passionately in full view of all the other vampires, their humans, and anyone else that cared to watch.

"Mommy and Daddy are kissing again!" Adele called out to her sisters as they exited their coffins.

"There's no place like home," Eric said, laughing. He tapped his heels together three times, then we went on to the next ride.

more to come .....(Anonymous Z, Tamara, Eminé, J, Cindy, Lindsay Jo, Sally - Thank you for visiting here and coming along on S & E's journey through parenthood. You make wonderful traveling companions!)