Chapter One Hundred and Twenty One
Linda was an orderly person, that was one of the qualities that made her good with numbers. She prioritized her response.
"First of all, I do not appreciate the way you discussed my personal business with Anna Hita. She has no right to know what Jure or I are up to unless we tell you that it's OK. Can we agree on that?" Her Stackhouse blue eyes regarded me steadily but without animosity.
"Yes honey, I knew I had goofed the second the words left my mouth. I won't do it again." I really did need to keep a watchful eye on every word out of my mouth, the stakes were so high, no pun intended.
That mollified her. "However, it did turn out to be some amazingly great goof up." She was smiling as she took my hand. "Somehow whatever you do, no matter how crazy, always turns out pretty good."
Crazy? Well dang, I wouldn't say the things I did were exactly crazy.
"I want to tell Jure about this right away but what about Anna Hita wanting to keep this all hush hush? Is she OK with Jure knowing all about how we three got here? Doesn't that put her in terrible danger from the Founders?"
I had kind of put that aside thinking that Anna Hita would know how to handle things when she made the offer, but was that true? Did I owe it to ask Anna Hita again now that she had a chance to think her offer over? No, I didn't believe so.
As with all older Vampires, she was the very soul of discretion and self preservation. If she decided to make this offer it wasn't on a whim. Vampires her age didn't survive if they were impulsive. Something had happened to make her less cautious about the Founders possible exploitation.
"We can check back with Anna Hita, honey, but I think she knows what she's doing. If she made the offer she already has it all figured out how it's going to work. You might not want to take up her offer once you hear what else I have to tell you."
"There's more?" she asked, her heart beating even more rapidly.
I didn't know any gentle way to tell her. The truth was the truth, all the pretty words in the world wouldn't change it.
"I found out from Anna Hita that Jure had been married before," I said, clasping her hand between both of mine like a mini-hug.
She slumped in relief. "Is that all? Lots of folks have an ex-spouse, that doesn't mean anything to our relationship."
"It shouldn't, however, he has never actually divorced her. She has gone missing but their marriage was never declared over."
"You mean she's Vampire?" Linda asked, starting to grasp the additional entanglement that could imply.
"Yes, Jure Turned her and she rebelled. She ran wild then she ran away. No one knows where she is or if she is even alive. She's been gone for centuries."
"Then she's not coming back," Linda declared confidently. Then, less surely, "I wonder why he's never mentioned this to me. What else is there about him I don't know?"
She shrugged that off. "Everyone has some baggage from the past. No sense in sacrificing my future happiness on the altar of past mistakes."
Her words triggered off a sudden vision, something that had been swimming around in my subconscious mind since my trip with Eric to the Vampire Cave in Patagonia. It was the place every vampire went at least once in their long lives to leave a message or see the messages left by others of their kind over the ages. It was like Facebook for Vampires and their wall was really a wall.
There had been a rock painting of a vampire that looked remarkably like Jure sacrificing a blond woman that resembled me to a slight degree. I knew Jure was old, though not cave-man old like Lingza. Just because the painting had been on a rock in a cave didn't mean the painting was as old as the stones. I had no idea when the painting was made, who made it, or what it represented.
I needed to know. Maybe Jure was some Bluebeard type psycho that married blond women and then killed them. A serial killer of Jure's age could have left behind dozens of murdered wives. He seemed so quiet. He kept to himself.
Wow, wasn't that what they always said about guys that turned out to be major crazies?
Still, Eric didn't seem to be sending any signals that he believed Jure was a wolf in sheep's clothing. I didn't have time to think about this right now, I needed to pay full attention to Linda.
"Your happiness is all that matters to your father and me, " I told her, adding mentally - and that you don't marry some deranged serial killer.
"I don't know if I'm ready to start a family but it's good to know I have that option. I can't wait to tell Jure. We had planned on using a donor and maybe even a surrogate if I Turned before I was ready to have kids, but now I don't need either one of those."
She sat back and stared, looking into a future that might just have everything she wanted. She smiled and said, "I need to talk to Anna Hita first, I won't rest easy in my mind until I'm sure she isn't going to get into trouble."
Linda, like all my girls, was kind right down to the bone. She wouldn't buy her happiness at someone else's expense.
I had one more thing I needed to know.
"Honey, if you don't mind my asking, why aren't you wearing that ring Jure just gave you?"
more to come .... (Yippee! The world didn't end! I am glad about that and I am ultra-glad you are with me here and in our little nest. I send health and happiness to each of you as we celebrate our various holidays. Stay hydrated, get enough sleep, and come back on Wednesday. Love you so so much!)