Chapter One Hundred and Fifteen
Looking at the lawyer perched on the footstool, I felt a wave of admiration and kindness towards that cute little elf Merry Dixon.
I knew intellectually that this feeling was the result of a natural emanation given off by the blue elves, an emanation that made vampires giddy with adoration. My muted response was thanks to the bespelled necklace I was wearing, one that lessened my unnatural feeling towards blue elves down to manageable proportions.
Eric had a ring that did the same thing. We might think Merry was the cutest thing on two thick legs right now but at least we weren't going to trip over our own feet to pander to her.
Jure didn't have the same protection. It was good he had already gone off to his home to change. If he was still here we would have a heck of a time prying him away from Merry so we could conduct business.
The kids left for the club in high spirits. The gleam was back in Linda's eye, the color in her cheek. Whatever Jure's shortcomings might be, I thought, at least tonight he and Linda would have a good time. You couldn't really get into any weighty issues in the club, it was just too loud for that kind of discussion.
Merry hopped down off her stool and got her leather briefcase. She had upgraded to a Valextra "Diplomatico" complete with her initials embossed in gold, probably a gift from a smitten and pleased vampire client. She was very good at brushing off most vampire attempts to woo her.
I supposed occasionally she might allow a gift for services rendered. Maybe I should get her a diamond studded Rolex to replace her plain Timex wrist watch. It seemed little enough to give her for taking the time to visit me like this.
Merry got right down to business once Simona had popped in the living room and asked if she wanted anything. Merry requested a cup of green tea, no sugar.
"As I understand it, right now we have agreed that I will be your Judicial Assistant at a salary commensurate with the one Issussra was receiving, is that correct?" she asked, her sweet little face serious as she began her list of court officers.
"Yes, that's right," I affirmed.
"Now, for our law clerks, those are the lawyers that will assist you in all aspects of legal research relating to your prosecution cases. I was considering the Narlock sisters. They can work two at a time in rotation so it doesn't become burdensome if one or the other is already involved in a case." She looked up at me over the top of her bifocals for approval. Her faded blue eyes were utterly charming in their intensity.
"Brilliant!" I said enthusiastically, hoping in some little worried corner of my heart it really was brilliant and didn't just seem that way 'cause I was intoxicated by Merry's presence.
I looked to Eric for his input but he wasn't in the room. Where was he? Wasn't his ring working? Did he have to leave to keep control of himself? No matter - I was here with Merry Dixon, that was all that counted right now. More attention for me.
"Next, we need a court clerk to keep records," she said, bringing a list out of her costly briefcase.
"We sure do," I agreed wholeheartedly.
"Since you are unfamiliar with the names on this list, might I recommend Madison Dole? She's very fast, accurate and retired, meaning she would be available any time we needed her. I must tell you that she's a were-monkey which might pose a problem during the full moons ..." she trailed off, not sure of my reaction to this news.
"So what if she's a monkey, she sounds great!" I burbled cheerfully.
"She's not a monkey all the time, just during the full ...." Merry Dixon stopped talking as Eric strode in.
Her jaw didn't exactly drop open but she stopped moving to gawk. Eric was naked to the waist, wearing his glove soft brown leather kilt low on his narrow hips, fur lined knee high boots, and a thick leather strap across the broad white expanse of his mighty chest, a strap that held a fearsome broadsword diagonally across his back.
All he needed to do to begin killing was reach behind his neck, grab the hilt of the sword and unsheathe it in one rapid movement. His thick wrists and developed forearms were custom made for sword fighting, having been trained in that art during his human life.
In vampire terms a sword was much more lethal than a gun or even a stake. The speed and dexterity with which Eric could spin and kill made him deadly on a level humans couldn't even imagine. Few vampires would be strong or fast enough to escape Eric when he was in warrior mode.
Merry and I both stared at Eric. His blond rock star hair was wild, his striated muscles were defined by the low living room lights. I don't know what she was thinking but I was thinking that this was a display of manliness to impress Merry.
Merry cleared her throat and consulted her list. "This brings us to the position of bailiff," she announced in her quavering voice.
To Eric she asked, "I assume you are applying for that position?"
Ah! So that was the reason for the fighting gear!
To me she quickly added, "A bailiff has authority from the judge, that would be you, to do whatever is necessary to maintain order in the court and uphold the law."
"I am applying for bailiff," he declared, whipping out his sword and cutting our blue ceramic table lamp and mahogany end table in half for dramatic effect. His sword was back in its scabbard before the two halves of the table hit the ground. Fortunately the lamp was not on. I darted over and unplugged the lamp's remains from the wall anyway so it couldn't start a fire. Better safe than sorry.
"How do you feel about that?" Merry asked me, suppressing a small smile at Eric's imposing presence and his show of swordplay. This was a job application she wouldn't forget in a hurry. It beat submitting a written resume by a country mile.
"I think it's hot!" I said, admiring my husband's good looks, fierce skills and noble bearing. I never cared for either the lamp or the end table, now I could get new ones I liked better.
"By 'hot' I am interpreting that as a yes? Eric will be your bailiff?" she asked, just to make sure we were all on the same page.
"Oh yeah, he can be my bailiff any old time," I purred at him, realizing that my warm fuzzy feelings for Merry were spilling over to Eric. The little blue elf was like a walking love spell. Too bad you couldn't bottle the stuff, you could make a fortune.
I thought of names ... Viagr-elf ... Elfrodesiac .. Elf Potion Number Nine.
"Well, that completes our roster," Merry said, straightening her papers and placing them neatly in her briefcase.
Simona came in with the tea, looked at the halves of table and lamp, looked at half naked Eric in his Viking warrior gear and made up her mind to say nothing. Very quietly and carefully she set the tray down on the coffee table. I dismissed her for the night and she scurried out of the room.
I hoped this wasn't "it" for Simona, so far she had been very satisfactory. I bet PBS hadn't prepared her for this. They needed a few new shows - Upstairs, Downstairs, Saferoom or Vampireton Abbey. I was aware that my mind was wandering all over the place, intoxicated by the presence of the elf.
Merry took a few polite sips of tea and told me she would check back with me in a week or so to set up our first case. The Queen of California was most eager for a hearing. Eric helped her on with her coat and walked her to her car. He looked as imposing from the back as he did from the front.
As soon as he got back in the house I led him to the bedroom to continue his job interview. My first question as his employer concerned what weapons he concealed under that leather kilt.
He got a raise before he even got the job.
more to come ..... (Greetings Fanpires! There's a dusting of snow on the ground but there's a warm place in my heart for you. See you Wednesday!)