Chapter Ninety Nine
The nurse took advantage of the situation and whisked the sleeping baby away. She was taking her across town to the palace. I could just imagine Trinity's joy at receiving this surprise. Did she know who the baby is, I wondered, or was this just being presented to her as an illegal adoption?
In previous cases the human courts had ruled against the adoption of babies by the few vampires that had tried. Of course this might not be a human baby. I couldn't even guess at what kind of a baby it was. It looked mostly human, but looks were deceiving in the world of supernaturals. I remembered those purple eyes.
After the baby and nurse left, Eric and I both turned to confront Anna Hita about the smoke snake thing. She had brought us here under false pretenses and we didn't appreciate that one bit.
Eric asked Anna Hita. "Why did you put me under a spell?" From the way he said it the question was clearly an accusation.
She looked mildly surprised at Eric's tone. "I did not put you under a spell. The Ancient Pythoness sent the Mist of Morpheus to subdue you."
"He didn't need to be subdued, he could have come with me," I objected.
Anna Hita asked Eric, "If you had known the Ancient Pythoness chose Sookie as her replacement, would you have accepted it?"
"I would have needed time to consider it. The whole idea of Sookie as the Ancient Pythoness is so bizarre. It does not make sense."
This evasive answer led me to believe that he might not have gone along with the idea. The old Pythoness was clearly on her way out. She might not have had time for Eric to think it through.
"The Pythoness chose Sookie as her heir from the first time their paths crossed, long before Sookie became Vampire or became your wife. Sookie was not yours when the Pythoness chose her. From the Oracle's point of view this was between her and Sookie when Sookie was a free human. You were never part of the equation."
Anna Hita said this with a tone of gentleness, realizing it would be difficult for Eric to accept that there was a part of me he didn't have complete rein over.
He bent down and sniffed me. "Sookie has taken the blood of the Oracle. I would never have agreed to that."
I hadn't thought of that. Did the Oracle's blood make me repulsive to Eric now? I felt sick inside at the idea of Eric finding me icky.
I had seen it as a way to overcome my weakling status, to not be such a burden to Eric. I didn't want him to have to be with me every minute of every night or fret that I might wither away and die. I thought having a weakling as a wife would get old fast, with Eric worrying every time he was away from me.
I wanted to be a strong vampire wife, not a weakling. Eric was all about strength, he couldn't have been happy with a weakling for a wife. Even Jure had leaked contempt for my weakling status. Other vampire makers let their weakling progeny die. I was lucky Eric had loved me enough to keep me going.
Anna Hita said, "You must accept this, Eric. This was an agreement between the Oracle and her replacement. Time was of the essence. The Ancient Pythoness had been holding on to the thinnest thread of life, waiting for Sookie to Turn. I thank Isis that she was in time. If the Ancient Pythoness had succumbed to her age before appointing a successor ..."
Eric was nodding. "I see that it was vital for her to pick someone to take her place. I just do not understand why it was Sookie."
"Me neither," I said emphatically. "I pointed out that I wasn't qualified to take the job, but she insisted. She convinced me .." I broke off, wondering if I had truly been convinced or if I had been under some kind of glamour. I thought she had talked me into it, but had she? Or was I just super vulnerable to her suggestions due to some chicanery?
"Did you agree to become the next Ancient Pythoness?" he asked me, genuinely puzzled at my decision if I did. He knew I didn't like to take on the problems of the world, to make life and death decisions about others. He was most likely having the same doubts I was about the free will of a person in the presence of such a powerful and magical being.
"It seemed like I did ... yet thinking on it ... I just don't know ...," I shrugged, feeling it was pointless to try and figure out. I had to move forward. I surely couldn't go back and rework the deal with the old Pythoness in her crib.
I didn't think I would ever know how much free will I had. Whatever was done in that cavern was signed sealed and delivered by blood, the Vampire iron clad guarantee. Blood was a contract no Vampire would consider breaking.
Also I needed and wanted the protection promised me. All my loved ones would be safe. The world would not spiral into chaotic warfare between Vampire rulers on my watch. The ones with less power would not be trampled by the more powerful. Might would not make right in my courtroom, if I ever had a courtroom.
"Let me show you the main reason why Sookie was chosen," Anna Hita said, walking to the mantle. She placed her hands on either side of the golden pyramid and said something in her chanting singsong language. Was this another spell?
She stepped back and a dot of light appeared in front of the fireplace. The dot grew larger, rounder, shining like a miniature sun. I had to step back and shield my eyes, though I tried to peek a little to see what was happening. A humming noise grew and the air in the room began to vibrate.
Between the noise and the light I didn't know whether to cover my eyes or my ears. I shut my eyes and covered my ears until the humming abruptly stopped. I looked at Eric and he was doing the same thing. I felt like I couldn't move from the spot otherwise I would have held his hand.
I opened my eyes and saw a hideous monster with one round glowing eye. Then I realized it was some kind of special suit, like the kind divers wear to go deep underwater or astronauts use to go out into the vacuum of space. The being took off the helmet and my jaw dropped open in shock. This was no bug eyed monster.
The handsome blond man in the space suit looked just like me and Jason, near enough to be a brother or first cousin. This person was a Stackhouse!
"You look like me!" I blurted out.
"I surely do," he laughed. He even had the Stackhouse dimples. "Allow me to introduce myself. I'm Tabula, and I have come to congratulate you on becoming the interim Pythoness."
He gave a Stackhouse laugh and a Stackhouse wink with his Stackhouse blue eye. I wished Jason was here to see this.
more to come ..... (Super Saturday nestmates! Hope this day finds you well and moving in a good direction. Your continued presence and comments are greatly appreciated! Thank you so much. See you Wednesday.)