Chapter One Hundred and Fourteen
Lachlain, Eric and Adele were sitting in the living room by the fire when Linda and I returned. She was now wearing a soft cuddly turquoise cashmere sweater dusted with glistening sequins around the collar. It smelled slightly of cedar and blended nicely with the woodsy shampoo she had used.
"Where's Jure?" Linda asked Adele accusingly, as if her sister might have some how done away with the mighty vampire in our short absence.
Before Adele could shoot back something sarcastic and escalate the tension between the girls, Lachlain answered.
"He went home to change. He's going to meet us at the club," he said.
Adele shot him a look like he had really stepped in it this time. He ignored her in a charmingly good spirited way.
"What happened to your other top?" Adele asked Linda, wisely deciding to switch topics.
"It was pinching me so I decided to go for comfort instead of SA," Linda replied.
"SA?" Eric asked.
Linda blushed a little and said in a low voice, "Er .. sex appeal."
"You are a lovely, sensible and intelligent young woman, you do not need anything else to make you appealing," Eric said, expressing the sentiments of fathers everywhere.
We were past the "young lady, you are not leaving the house dressed like that" stage of parenting. Eric was trying to give his opinion because he knew Linda valued it.
"Thanks Dad," Linda said with a smile, sitting down.
"Maybe I'll go change too," Adele said, popping up to her feet in a ploy for her father's attention. "I'm cold in this dress and the sleeves are too tight. It's making my arm hurt." Pam had a smaller frame than Adele, making the dress very snug. You could hear the leather creak when Adele shifted position.
"Do you need my help?" I asked, not wanting to help Linda without helping Adele too.
There was always this kind of mental checklist going on when you had three daughters of the same age. Maybe it was true no matter what sex or ages your children were. I remember how bitter Jason and I had been on the occasions when either of us felt the other was getting preferrential treatment.
"Nope, you don't mind what I pick, do you?" she asked on her way out of the room, not waiting to hear my answer.
Lachlain moved uncomfortably in his seat. Maybe the leather pants were too snug on his bulging leg muscles too but I didn't say anything to him about it. All Eric's casual clothes were the same size, nothing he owned would have fit better.
"How are the dogs?" I asked him, referring to Gordon and Flame. We had rescued Flame from a neglectful owner and been lucky to have Adele take her and bond with her.
"Gordon seems to be slowing down," Lachlain said sadly. "His breed ... well, they don't live as long as some of the smaller ones. Flame is doing great, it's like she knows we all saved her and she's grateful for everything she has."
Poor old Gordon. I was glad I didn't have another dog. Aside from the difficulty a vampire would have with a dog - and the smell - the emotional attachment made you so vulnerable to the inevitable loss. I had often thought how similar it was to a vampire loving a human, knowing that the length of their lives would be so different.
We chatted about what good dog parents Lachlain and Adele were to their pets and then about some of the other animals of the Campbell ranch. Adele came in wearing my red and white Fangtasia dress, the one I had worn the very first night I met Eric. Back then I had been with Bill and thought Eric was a tyrant. Eric loved that dress.
Fortunately this was a copy of the dress. I had several made at a time because Eric and I liked to re-enact the first time we met and our first date, the time I won a date with him in a contest. Sometimes the dress didn't survive the re-enactment so I had them made six at a time.
"Do you have any white shoes?" she asked, looking down at her bare feet. Her tanned legs wouldn't need stockings. I remembered how nice it was to have tanned legs and again felt a tiny ping of loss. I guess that was the nature of life, losing something, gaining something. I decided to count my blessings instead.
"And a sweater?" she added, rubbing her bare arms. She had a big bandage on her arm and I saw a little ooze of watery blood where the wound was still leaking.
"How about a new bandage too?" I asked, bringing her with me back to my room.
I got her the shoes and a crystal necklace. Instead of re-bandaging her arm I offered to heal her. She accepted my offer. I smeared a few drops of my blood on her stitches and her arm healed before our eyes, the stitches falling off her smooth skin like little pieces of black thread.
She looked at her arm for a few seconds, then up at me. "Mom, I'm sorry about what I said ... you know .. about you being a vampire."
I smiled at her, "Well, I really am a vampire, just like you said."
"Yeah, but I made it sound like it's a bad thing and it's not. I was just mad at Linda for taking up with Jure again after we had discussed her dating other men."
I suspected Adele had done all the discussing but I let it pass. We hugged and I knew she was fine with my change.
When we got back to the living room Linda had a coat on, Lachlain had his jacket on and he was holding Adele's coat.
Merry Dixon, plump and prim as ever, was sitting on a stool next to the fire. Her little feet didn't reach the floor.
more to come .... (Howdy! I'm in a rush but I wanted to thank you for your perseverance in trying to post a comment. I know it can be frustrating at times and I appreciate the time and effort. See you Saturday! Love!)