Chapter One Hundred and Seventeen
Eric leaned forward. "Jure is already married?" he asked, his voice hard.
His hand sought mine out of camera range and clutched it. He was going to kill Jure for real if he was leading our little girl on. He might be hanging on to me to avoid leaping up and doing something impulsive at this moment. He needed to hear her answer. I was reminded of the time HoloGran told me that I must be his guiding star.
"Yes ... and no," Anna Hita said with a charming tilt to her head, trying to explain. "He married her and Turned her. She grew wild, willful and wanton. It affects some women that way, especially women that were raised in repressive societies. She took off, mocking him, challenging him. He used his Maker's power to control, but, as you know, that eventually wears thin. She hated him for controlling her. All love she had for him died. She became vengeful, refusing to divorce him. He has not heard from her for centuries. Even if he did, he would not love her. All he wants is to be rid of her for once and all."
"Would a marriage even be binding after all these years?" I asked. I knew Vampire traditionally had marriages that lasted a set amount of time. Eric and I were unusual in that our marriage had no "sell by" date.
"Jure is ... old fashioned," Anna Hita said in a kindly way. I knew she really cared about him. "If he is finally contemplating a new marriage he must consider his old marriage to be defunct. Celandine is long gone. She was a telepath also, a distant relative of ours. His mind would have found hers if she was still here. At Jure's request I too looked for her years ago, before this country was founded. I found no trace of her here either."
"Here?" I asked.
"Among the living," Anna Hita amplified.
"You believe she is dead, the final death?" Eric asked, his hand seeming to relax it's grip on mine a little.
I hung on to his hand too. I would be his anchor and he would be mine whatever the future brought. That knowledge soothed my worries a lot.
"How else could her complete psychic absence be explained?" she asked.
I had no answer for that. "What else should I know about him? Bad habits, vices, crazy streaks?" I asked.
"He is fussy about his appearance and possessions," Anna Hita said, as if beginning a list. "He will not tolerate disrespect or uproar. He keeps a close eye on his finances ... On the other side he is playful, fun loving, generous to those he cares about and worldly."
It was hard to think of the gloomy and imposing Jure as "fun-loving", though he did send me some creative romantic dreams in the past before I put a stop to it. Of course this was after he had glamoured me and taken advantage of me .... but he didn't remember that. Anna Hita had downloaded his memories to me and erased them from his mind. At least, that was what was supposed to have happened. If Jure did retain any memory of his attempt to steal me from Eric he never let it show.
"Is he glamouring Linda?" I asked.
"No, he is not. He is forbidden to glamour you or any member of your family."
"So you believe his ex-wife is really dead dead?" I asked again.
"How long would it take for someone to be declared dead if they did not reappear or send any sign?" she asked back.
Good question. For humans I think the time limit was seven years, though I got that from watching movies. For Vampires ... no telling. I was a judge now, I might need to weigh in on these issues. I would need to retire to my chambers and give this some thought.
First I would need to get me some chambers.
"If Linda were your daughter, would you let Jure court her?" I asked Anna Hita. She had seven daughters and seven sons during her very long ago human life, she would know where this question was coming from.
"Sookie, she is as a granddaughter to me. Yes, I believe Jure, for all his Old World ways, would make a fine match for Linda. How does she feel about it?" Anna Hita asked with a glint in her eye. I was sure she already knew the answer to that.
"She is sure about her feeling towards Jure, not so sure about giving up on her human aspirations such as motherhood..." I answered before thinking. Then I immediately worried I was revealing too much about Linda's personal life to Anna Hita.
Anna Hita stopped smiling. She looked directly into the camera, serious as sunrise. "That has a solution, as you know."
I saw a few flecks of gold begin to swirl around in her eyes signalling magic was being spoken of.
Her calm gaze was unwavering. She was sending me a message. A direct message. She was saying she could do for Linda what she had done for me. She could retrieve seed from a past human Jure and bring it back to the present so Linda could have Jure's children.
"Can I ... can I let Linda know that?" I asked her in a voice just slightly above a whisper, hardly daring to speak of such a big step - big for Linda and Jure, big for Anna Hita. Heck, big for Eric and me too. And Linda's sisters.
Anna Hita laughed, a sound like tiny temple bells ringing in a spring breeze. "Of course. How else would she decide?"
"Thank you ... thank you so much ... there are no words to express ..." I stammered.
"And none are needed. How does Eric feel about Jure joining your nest?" she asked, looking directly at him, the gold swirls gone.
She was changing the subject. Even though this line was secure there was always the remote danger something might be overheard and used against us or her.
"I would accept him if he proves worthy," Eric said. "I have no use for foolish pride, vain strutting or pointless power struggles. He would be joining my nest, not the reverse. If he can keep that foremost in his mind, he would be welcome."
I thought Eric put that very well. I had my doubts about how much pride or vanity Jure could set aside, but maybe it would be enough to be tolerable to Eric. As for power struggles ... well, I had even bigger doubts. I hope their love for Linda could cause both strong willed men to be flexible in their requirements.
"I'm going to speak to Linda sooner rather than later," I told Anna Hita, my mind more on Linda's future than anything else.
"That would be wise," she said. "Time is of the essence."
I knew she was referring to Linda's biological clock. Was there also some time constraint on her offer? Well, I would be seeing Linda tonight. If I could get her to the secret basement or our sound proof tunnel I could tell her of Anna Hita's life changing offer.
"What about Jure? He must be informed of this," Eric said.
"I know I can trust Jure," she said confidently. "However I can not guarantee what his reaction will be. He had no children in his human life, perhaps that was by choice. In that case ..." She shrugged her bare white shoulders causing her three strand diamond necklace to flash and twinkle.
"I'll let Linda tell him," I said. "This is a private matter between them."
As private as this arrangement can be, I added to myself silently, considering we were here plotting and planning without her knowledge.
I knew Jure kept himself to himself. He probably wasn't going to welcome us into his confidences. And children, with all the noise and the rotation of staff they require ... I tried to picture Jure dandling a squalling infant on his knee and failed. The thought of him changing a poopy diaper was beyond me to conjure up. He had recoiled at the task of caring for me when I was a weakling. Caring for a fragile human infant ... ?
No sense thinking about all that now. First things first. We said our very warm farewells. I wished I could hug Anna Hita and be enveloped in her scent and soothing aura. Perhaps soon.
After the screen went dark Eric asked me, "Did that answer all your questions?"
more to come ..... (Happy weekend everyone! Thanks so much for stopping by. I know this is a super busy time of year, thanks for making me a part of it.)