Chapter One Hundred and Six
I went in to check on Linda after I heard her brush her teeth. She was sitting up in bed, without make up, looking like a bigger version of the little girl that had grown up in this room.
"When is Char coming back?" she asked, pulling her knees up under the blankets and hugging them.
"We're working on that, hopefully before she has the baby. Your father has offered them a house and a place for their company. It's not far from here."
"I miss her," Linda said with a sigh.
Char and Linda had always been closer than Linda and Adele. Char was more sympathetic and a better listener. Adele could be kind of opinionated and bossy while trying to be helpful.
"You could call her," I suggested.
"I don't know what to say right now. Jure has issues and so do I. Until I figure out what mine are and what I want to do about them I don't want to hash over all Jure's faults. I don't want to complain to her so much I turn Char against him in case I wind up deciding to marry him." She gave an impish smile.
More seriously she added, "Plus it might be stressful for Char to hear about my problems and she only has a few more months to go. I want her to have a happy pregnancy."
Linda sighed again, perhaps thinking about her own chances of having a happy pregnancy.
I changed the subject since there didn't seem to be a lot more to say about Linda's future plans. Those were up to her.
"Before you hear it from anyone else I wanted to let you know that I have been appointed as a sort of judge for a while. I won't have to hold court very often. I will only hear the most important cases and they're few and far between."
I sat down on the end of the bed, smoothing the blue blanket to give Linda a moment to take this in.
"Are you a vampire judge, I mean, a judge for vampires?" she asked in tones of astonishment.
"Yes, not that I'm really qualified. You know how vampires do things, they just decide and that's that. I wasn't really given a choice. I took over from a very old woman that was ready to leave her life."
"You mean this vampire judge woman died of old age?" She looked horrified.
"Not exactly, she just went into a state of hibernation where she's rejuvenating to get her ready to take back her job as judge," I said. "It was a peculiar circumstance specific to her own metabolism."
I didn't tell Linda where or who the old Pythoness was now. I wasn't sure if the King would want people to know that his new baby daughter was the infant Pythoness. I didn't want to put Linda in danger of saying something to the King or Queen that would displease them.
"Holy cow Mom, how is this going to work? You're not a lawyer or anything...." her brows knit, trying to see me in a position of judicial power.
"I was told I would have helpers. After I tuck you in I'm going to try to begin assembling my court room staff. I was promised that my family would be kept safe. I hope that's true. Keep your guard up anyway until I feel sure all our safeguards are in place."
"Oh no .. I'm not going to have some big were-creature following me around night and day, am I?" Her face was squinched in horror at the thought, like I was trying to force some bitter medicine on her.
I always thought she liked her guards. Now I saw that she craved the freedom to be an ordinary young woman, coming and going as she pleased. If she truly was under a protective spell it might turm out to be the best thing about my appointment as Interim Pythoness.
"It's a spell, so let me find out when it goes into effect. If you do need a guard it will only be for a few days."
"Maybe I could get Jure to come and watch over me," she said with a mischevious gleam in her eye.
"Would he come?" I asked.
"In a nanosecond. He can't stand to be without me, yet when he's with me he acts formal and cool .... most of the time." She looked down, color coming into her cheeks. I thought she might be thinking about their more passionate moments. I stood up, Linda needed her space to think her private thoughts.
"Can I get you anything, some warm milk?" I asked her, placing my hand on her shoulder. She felt so vibrantly alive in the way humans did.
"Nope, not a ba-ba or a binky either," she laughed. Her binky was our name for her pacifier. She was kidding me about trying to return her to her infancy where I could fix every problem.
I bent down and hugged her, kissing her petal soft cheek. "Sleep well, babygirl." I whispered to her.
She snuggled down into her cozy bed, her eyes almost falling shut on their own. "G'night Mom. Kiss Dad goodnight for me too."
Her voice faded out as she fell asleep almost instantly.
I left the door open a crack and the hall light on so she wouldn't wake up in the dark, just like when she was seven.
more to come ..... (So glad we all made it through the hurricane. Has everyone checked in? Your kind words and support are the life blood of this story, thanks for being here. See you Saturday unless there's a volcano or something, lol.)