Chapter One Hundred and Sixteen
The next night I discovered that Linda had not returned here after her trip to Fangtasia. She was staying at Jure's house. She had come, gotten her three poodles and left a note for us with Simona.
The note read -
"Hi Mom and Dad,
I'm staying at Jure's for tonight. Will return to my apartment tomorrow and be at work tomorrow night. Thanks for all your love and support. It really helped.
p.s. Can I keep Aunt Linda' s sweater? I promise to take good care of it and I think it may have brought me good luck!
"Good luck? What kind of good luck?" I asked Eric as we read the note together.
He shrugged, not looking terribly concerned.
I took my worry out on him, unfairly.
"Eric, this is Linda's whole future we are talking about! Don't you care?"
He took my tone in stride. "I care about her future with all my heart, that does not give me insight into what might be lucky for her."
Eric wrapped his arms around me. "Poor Sookie, it is so hard for you to let her go. We did a good job raising her, she has both common sense and a zest for life. Now our little bird has flown, looking to make her own nest. Let us see where she lands before we decide how we view her adventures. Can any parent guarantee happiness for their children?"
"No, I guess not," I begrudgingly admitted, my cheek pressed against his silent loving chest..
In my heart I was still plotting schemes to find out all I could about Jure behind his back. I decided to call Anna Hita tonight and see if I could speak with her.
I was also thinking that Bill, with his access to Jure's computer, might be a goldmine of information.
I was also thinking the unthinkable.
I knew Adele could, with effort, read the minds of vampires. I could send her into Jure's mind for his whole story. The problems with that were multiple. Jure might know immediately what was happening. I had told Adele to never read vampire minds because she might let something out that would clue in vampires what she could do. Jure might retaliate if he felt his privacy was being breached.
He might take his anger out on Linda or Adele. He was too dangerous to poke with a stick. I had to be very very careful whatever I decided to do. If Eric thought Anna Hita would be my best bet I would start there and see what I turned up.
I heard hammering and sawing. I made a questioning face at Eric.
"The work has begun on our second kitchen and the telecommunication dining room," he explained. "It will all be wired discreetly so that the cameras and screens will be less intrusive than laptops on the table. The screen where we appear will look like paintings when not in use, the tiny cameras are concealed in the chandelier. The angle will be slightly higher than eye level, eliminating the sight of the table and the plates."
It didn't bother me much but the sight of food sometimes icked Eric out. Some older Vampires used terms such as "breathers", "breeders" or "chewers" in a derogutory way, implying those things were evidence of a lower, grosser nature. Eric didn't go that far, after all, I was recently human and his daughters were human. Still the sight, smell and chewing of food seemed yuckier and yuckier the longer I was Vampire.
I hoped I never got an "us vs. them" mentality. The best thing about being Interim Pythoness, aside from having Eric as my bailiff, would be my ability to enforce fair and equal treatment between vampires and humans.
We were going in to Fangtasia tonight to welcome Linda back to the office and check things out. Before I got ready to go I wanted to call Anna Hita. I didn't know if she would insist on us coming to New Orleans to speak to her. Eric had set up a Skype connection that he promised was private. I believed it, whether Anna Hita would trust in such a thing I would find out.
We went in the office and shut the door to keep out the sound of the construction. I had downed a couple of bottles of True Blood - vile stuff - but I was really looking forward to hitting the donors at the club to feed. Eric said he had a special surprise for me too.
Eric had informed Corinth, Anna Hita's excellent secretary, we were calling. She was right by the phone when we called.
"She is expecting your call, let me turn on the camera ...." The computer screen lit up and we could see Corinth in the office. I had only been in the office once many years ago. It had been entirely redecorated since that time and had the same creamy light color scheme as Anna Hita's apartment. Maybe the same decorator did them both.
Nobody had touched Anna Hita's scrying parlor in all those years, maybe not in centuries considering the massive Victorian furniture and dusty red velvet upholstery. Her parlour didn't even have electric lights, just an antique kerosene lamp on the sideboard.
Corinth leaned forward to do what most people do, she peered closely into the camera. Our camera was already on so she could see us.
"All set, I see," she said. "I'll go get her."
She moved out of range and Eric and I were left looking at a beige six drawer filing cabinet. There were cards marking each drawer but the writing was all little squiggles and triangles. Were they labeled in cuneiform?
Anna Hita appeared as she sat down and adjusted her chair.
"Hello?" she said to us, sounding unsure of how, or even if, this worked.
"Hi Anna Hita, it's us, Sookie and Eric," I said, though she could see and had been told who it was.
She smiled, truly pleased. "Isn't this wonderful? The things they have these days." Her eyes traveled around the screen and found the camera.
This comment was coming from a woman that could travel through time and alternate dimensions!
"Anna Hita, we have a few questions .. about Jure. He is courting Linda and we need to know more about him, about his past, before we decide how we feel about it. He wants Linda to Turn and it's driving her crazy because she's not ready yet. Is he going to break her heart?"
Anna Hita nodded as I was talking. "I see. Of course you want to protect Linda from taking a wrong path. Jure is wealthy, powerful, old. He has holdings in both the New World and the Old. His last Child was Adrijana Dragan, she's in the Underworld right now... .."
I knew that because I was the one that got her sent there, indirectly.
"I think he Turned Adrijana more than two hundred years ago ...Jure lives near you, doesn't he?" she asked.
I got the feeling Anna Hita was stalling, telling us things we already knew. I decided to take a more direct approach.
"We were visiting him at his castle in Croatia. I saw a painting of him with a blond woman, an old painting. Who was she?"
"Her name is Celandine. She is his wife." Anna Hita said.
more to come ..... (Welcome to one and all! I'm feeling merry and bright knowing you are here, hope life is treating you well. See you Saturday. Til then I send my warmest thoughts your way.)