Chapter One Hundred and Eighteen
I didn't know how to answer Eric when he asked if my phone call with Anna Hita answered all my questions about Jure.
I knew whatever Anna Hita said was just the tip of the iceberg. There was a whole lot more to the big Croat than one phone call could cover. I didn't want to worry Eric about what I might do next.
"Eric, does anything ever answer all my questions?" I joked evasively. "Let's get ready and get to the club. I can't wait to see Linda and tell her what Anna Hita said."
"Just be careful when you are there," Eric warned. "The walls in Fangtasia have ears."
"I will be," I called cheerfully, already on my way to the bedroom to change.
Now that I had embraced the idea of being a grandmother with Char's little bundle of joy on the way the thought of additional grandchildren in the future made me very happy.
I threw on some long vampirey dress and did my lips in crimson. That was as much as I could manage in my excitement to talk to Linda. I was a real Vampire, I didn't need to raccoon my eyes or wear bat jewelry to play it up.
Just to confirm this assertion I hissed at myself in the mirror, making my lovely fangs pop out and glint menacingly in the lamplight. Oh heck yeah, I was Vampire Woman enough for anyone. Hear me roar.
I winked at my reflection. "Looking good Sookie Stackhouse, looking good," I told myself as I turned off the light.
Eric had put on a "Creature from the Black Lagoon" tee shirt and he was ready to leave too. The Creature had actually been moved from the Black Lagoon to another location after Adele discovered industrial waste pollution in the Black Lagoon was making him sick. Now I guess he would be called "The Creature from Some Nameless Lagoon fed by a Small Tributary of the Amazon River".
It didn't have the same ring to it.
I gave Adele a quick call while Eric fired up the Corvette and brought it around. Adele wanted to complain about Linda leaving Fangtasia with Jure but I didn't have either the time or the inclination to hear it. I thought about the squawk she would make when she found out she was going to be the aunt to Jure's children.
If that happened ... I sternly cautioned myself. I didn't want to go putting the cart before the horse.
I made sympathy noises and told her I would call her tomorrow night. She was going to talk to Charlaine later, she could fill me in on that too. I couldn't wait til Char was here in this time zone, having her on the other side of the world made it difficult for me to figure out what time it was in New Zealand.
On the ride to the club I asked Eric if he was all right with the things we had learned tonight, especially that Jure might have an ex-wife out there somewhere floating around.
"Jure had an experience similar to mine," Eric said, roaring around a corner at exhilarating speed. I refrained from going "wheeee!"
Eric added darkly, "Pam was not the meek and obedient young woman she had been once I Turned her."
That was an understatement. If there were two words in the English language that would be the opposite of everything Pam was, they would be "meek" and "obedient". She was respectful of Eric's role as her Maker due to her profound gratitude at being made Vampire, a state she deemed superior to any other life form.
Eric went on. "Every Vampire risks much when they Turn a spouse. There is no way to know what hidden desires lurk in the recesses of a human mind until the Turning takes off the shackles of human limitation."
He looked at me with affection. "I was very lucky with you. Even though you were not under my direct control you were willing to accept direction and stayed loyal to me."
"It was more than luck, Eric!" I protested. "You are the perfect man, an ideal husband in every way."
I silently added "after we had worked out a few glitches in our early days". No sense in bringing up all that Saytanna business. Or him running off with the elf queen which really wasn't his fault. Or his being insistent that he be the one to Turn me. Or his support of a vampire take over until I pointed out that humans had never thrived or been content in captivity.
I wasn't one to dwell on past mistakes.
"I was the same man back when I Turned Pam yet she exploded out of her conventional life into ... how did Anna Hita phrase it .. into being willful, wild and wanton."
"Pam didn't even really know you, Eric. You bought a pig in a poke when you decided to Turn her based on her looks and her conventional demure human demeanor."
Eric laughed out loud. "Do not let Pam hear you call her a 'pig in a poke'. She might feel the need to defend her honor."
"I wouldn't dream of it. Anyway, back to Celandine .. do you think she's really gone for good?"
"There is no way to know for certain. Her long absence would be highly unusual if she still had a legal claim on Jure. He is a wealthy man, his wife would have a right to some of his riches."
Our speculating was cut short when we tore around the club to the gravel lot in back where the employees and the over flow crowd parked. The club was hopping, the back lot was half filled. I began to pick my way in my high heels over the rocks and ruts when Eric swept me up in his arms and flew me to the service door. He set me down as gentle as you please.
"See? Perfect!" I grinned at him.
He smoothed back his hair with both hands in pretended vanity.
He unlocked the door and we entered the outdated employees hallway, so different from the flashy and flashing night life in the club. Down the worn linoleum was the battered office door and behind that door was Linda.
Eric and I made eye contact outside the door and he kissed my cheek, not wanting to smear my heavily applied lipstick. It took years for him to learn that. I took Mr. Perfect's hand and we entered the office.
Linda was busy adding a column of numbers. She held up a finger, eyes still down on her task, signalling us to wait until she was done. Then she hit a button and the machine whirred, extruding a long sheet of numbers. She looked at the total and sighed, then looked up at us.
Her face broke into a big smile. "Mom, Dad, I have some good news!"
"The books are balanced?" Eric offered teasingly.
She made a dismissive sweep of her hand. "Heavens no, they're all messed up. Did monkeys keep the books while I was away?"
She didn't wait for an answer. "No, this is my good news."
She reached down into the purse at her feet, took out a small box and opened it, holding it up to us with a big cat-that-ate-the-cream grin.
A million watts of diamond shot fire around the dingy office. Jure had given her a ring!
more to come ..... (Happy Wednesday Fanpires! Hope your hearts are filled with peace and happiness. My heart is filled with gratitude for your presence and the time you took to leave a note. See you Saturday!)