Chapter One Hundred and Nine
Eric was seldom surprised by anything but he looked surprised now.
"Do you mean a private detective that is also Vampire or do you mean someone that does detective work on vampires?" he asked.
We walked out of the office back into the living room and sat down. The fire was still burning and the heat felt pleasant, like being near a human.
"The latter," I said. "It could be either a human detective, a vampire or whatever."
I thought a vampire might have more luck as a detective but who knew, a werewolf might do just as well.
"Whom did you wish to investigate?" he asked.
The firelight flickered and cast a lovely glow on his face, highlighting his beautiful bone structure and bringing out flashing threads of gold sheen in his clean and tousled hair.
"Jure. It occurred to me that Linda is trying to make up her mind about whether Jure is worth the effort for her to change her entire life. Really, at this point, she's buying a pig in a poke. He's lived a long time, who knows what skeletons he has in his closet? He might be hiding some terrible secret that would completely disqualify him as a suitable husband for Linda."
Eric didn't know this but I was thinking about what had happened between Eric and me a while back, the fact that he had supported Vampire Liberation and had been actively working to bring about the day that vampires would take over control of the earth.
He had some noble reasons - ending war and pollution. And some selfish reasons - gaining more power and having his own loved ones live in safety and luxury. Worst, he had some downright wrong headed motives - revenge on humans for all the centuries vampires had been hunted and killed bolstered by a smug sense of Vampiric superiority in all things.
When I had found out what he was up to, actively plotting to enslave all humans, it was a terrible shock. I discovered what he had been really discussing at those European conferences he attended. He, and many of the older vampires, had been planning and working out the details of the Day of the Dead, the day vampires would seize control and rule humans.
Just as humans ruled and exploited the animal kingdom, vampires were planning to rule and exploit humans. I just about lost my mind and my marriage when I finally had the whole story. We fought over this issue like we were never going to see our way back to be together.
The truth is, if I had known Eric supported Vampire rule, way back when he starting courting me, I never would have married him. I wouldn't have dated him. Heck, I wouldn't have let him in my house. I would have run to anyone that could have helped me thwart the Day of the Dead.
I found out about this gigantic vampire plot by accident when Eric was attacked in our driveway by Quinn's crazy sister. I followed a tangled thread until I got to the truth. Once I was convinced Vampire Liberation was real I confronted him with it. His excuses for not telling me were pretty darn lame.
He tried to make light of it - it was a long way off, it might never happen, it would all be for the good of everyone. They were just evasions. The real reason he hadn't ever told me was because he knew I would flip out. That issue was an irreconcilable difference if there ever was one.
If he hadn't come to his senses, come to see that the future lay in cooperation and compromise with humans, I wouldn't be sitting in this room with him right now. He switched positions and pledged himself to my cause, the cause of fair treatment for all. Now, as Pythoness I would be in a good position to make sure everyone, vampire and human alike, were treated with fairness and respect.
Unfortunately even having the power of the title of Pythoness didn't mean I could magically protect Linda from making a poor decision. She needed cold hard information about Jure and the detritus of his very long life. He had ties to his ancient estate in Croatia, he had holdings and vassals all over the place. How could I get the real scoop on him and his business without him finding out?
Eric said, "What is it you want to know about him?"
He sounded a little guarded, maybe he was thinking about his big error in judgement and how it had almost driven a wedge between us. Could he be afraid Jure was going to reveal yet another big bomb of a surprise? Did Eric have more secrets under his cape? I sure hoped not.
"Anything he wouldn't want Linda to know. Anything that would put her off wanting to hitch up with him. How can I get the real scoop on him and his business without him finding out?"
I didn't want to ruin Linda's relationship with my snooping, but I also wouldn't be a diligent mother if I didn't look into Jure's past.
Eric nodded slowly, he understood exactly where I was coming from. Vampire's lives weren't exactly open books under the best of circumstances.
"You should speak to his ancestor. She will tell you anything you need to know," he said.
I could ask Anna Hita if I could trust her to tell me the whole truth.
more to come ..... (Happy Weekend everyone! Hope you are well. Thanks to any Veterans for your service. Thanks also to you for stopping by and for taking the time to write. See you Wednesday!
later - holy cow! I have been writing this story for so long I actually forget whether Anna Hita is Jure's Maker or not. I thought she was but I have changed the wording of the story to reflect the nature of the relationship I AM sure of ... he is her direct descendant - as is Sookie - like I said, a vampire's life is not an open book, not even to me. I asked Jure but he just glowered at me in response. Typical.)