Chapter One Hundred and One
Once we were in our safe room and locked in Eric called Vito and told him to stand guard during daylight hours. He was so curt on the phone I was sure Vito would think Eric was still royally PO'd about the lawyers sneaking up on us.
I figured Eric had that whole episode on the back burner. He was tense about the new situation we had been thrust into. Eric hated to be caught up in circumstances that were beyond his control.
We changed into our sleep wear in silence. Eric sat on one of the chairs, as still as a marble statue. I could feel the furious whirring of Eric's thoughts as he went over every aspect of my status as Pythoness. There were pluses and minuses. Eric would want to weigh them all in his mind.
I had on my lounging pajamas when Vito tapped on the door discreetly and let me know the human I had ordered sent to the room arrived. He was an eager beaver, a first time donor, I made sure he had a nice memory to take away with him. I was surprisingly hungry, so the blood from the AP hadn't been very filling. It had changed me but maybe just a little.
After feeding I sat down across from Eric on the comfortable chairs in our seating area. Eric looked at me long and hard.
"So tell me, do I stink?" I asked. Might as well get that part over with right away.
He looked surprised. "Stink? Like what?" I could see his fine nostrils flare slightly as he sampled the air.
"Like a very old, very tired Oracle."
"No, on the contrary. You smell like power."
"What does power smell like?"
"Old bloodlines, money, ancient books, hoards of gold ... Hard to describe, I know it when I smell it."
"Then wouldn't that be a good thing?" I asked, moving to sit in his lap.
"It is a good thing that you smell like power. It harmonizes with your fairy smell. My objection to all this is as your Maker. Protocol dictates that any approach to you about anything should be made through me."
Going over his head to deal with me directly was like spitting in his face. Vampires set great store by tradition and custom, something I understood, coming from the South. Any slighting of that tradition was an insult that needed to avenged.
"I completely understand. When folks get on in years they can get set in their ways. I got the feeling that the AP was a protocol all to herself by the end of her days. Her life was so long, her power so absolute I bet she lost touch with what was proper vampire etiquette. She ran out of time, Eric. If you could have seen her, you would have seen she already had one foot in the grave."
"You mean she was withering fast?"
"She just didn't have any more time left. It was now or never."
"Is that why you agreed?"
He wrapped his arms around me. I took that as a good sign. I laid my head on his shoulder.
"I don't rightly know why exactly it is I agreed. She told me I wouldn't be a weakling anymore, that was big. And she told me our family and friends would be protected from harm. That was bigger. I don't have to sentence anyone to death. She said she wasn't needed very often."
"That is true," he said, kissing my forehead.
"I plan on doing my best if I ever am called on to rule on anything," I said with conviction.
He turned me in his lap so I was facing him, straddling his knees. His eyes looked into mine with kindness and love. Little crinkles of mature appreciation appeared at the corners as he smiled at me with his eyes.
"I know you will do your best. You always do. That is what I admire most about you. You are fair and insightful, goodhearted and brave. I understand why the Pythoness chose you. It is just difficult for me to accept that you are now paramount in our relationship." His eyes flickered away from mine.
He was hurt, diminished by my new title. I had read of this happening in human relationships when the wife became the breadwinner and the husband felt he wasn't the head of the family anymore. I tried to recall what I had read was the way to deal with it.
This was more than a paycheck issue, I was now the grand poo-ba of vampires. There were women on the human Supreme Court, did their husbands feel like second fiddles?
"Paramount? Is that like saying I wear the pants in this family now?"
"Sookie, you 'wear the pants' over every vampire on Earth," he said, sounding surprised I didn't know this.
"I might rule in the courtroom but in this relationship we are equal partners. I will always look up to you and not just cause you're taller than me."
He laughed at this and a certain slight uplift to his chin let me know my words were reassuring to him.
"Nothing has changed here, Eric. You're my husband and my Maker, the father of our children, the older wiser one. I want a man I can rely on and turn to. If I need to sit in a trial now and again, so what? That doesn't change anything between us. You and our family will always come first. I told the AP that. She knows where I'm coming from and she still went with me. We're a team, honey."
I leaned forward and kissed him, feeling the first tingling of dawn coming closer. We were running out of time.
"Kiss me again before I go down," I said. Our lips touched, then, as usual, the lights went out for me.
more to come ..... (Super Saturday! Hope this day dawns on something good for you. Thank you for stopping by, your visit is always a treat. See you Wednesday!)