Chapter One Hundred and Twenty Two
It took Linda a second to focus on my question. Her mind was still spinning with all the new possibilities Anna Hita's offer had opened up for her.
"What? Why aren't I wearing the ring?" she repeated. She seemed to return to the present.
"Oh, that's because I'm scared to wear it. It must be worth a million dollars or something like that. What if robbers broke into the office? What if the stone fell out of the setting? What if I whacked it against something or it accidentally slipped off my finger? The truth is, it makes me nervous. I feel better right now that Daddy is ring-sitting it."
She went on, warming to the topic. "I'll need to get some kind of major safe in my apartment to keep it in. And I think a vampire could pretty much tear open any safe there is. Are there any vampire robbers around? Is there such a thing as a safe room for jewelry?" Her face was tense with worry. "I should ask Daddy."
She added, "I would love to wear it for a few hours."
She sighed, looking down at her ringless hand.
This was no good. The ring shouldn't cause her such anxiety yet I could relate. I have a spectacular diamond tiara and I keep it locked up unless I'm wearing it for Eric. I wouldn't dare to ...
I stopped and realized something. Now that I'm Vampire I could wear it in the seediest neighborhood in Shreveport and not worry about someone snatching it off my head. It might be a good way to lure robbers into my rehabilitation donor project.
Or would that be entrapment?
I knew there was such a thing as an attractive nuisance. Jason had to put a fence around his swimming pool to avoid law suits from neighborhood kids coming into his yard and falling into the pool and getting hurt. Maybe walking around with a diamond tiara on my head would be the same thing? Or would it be like me wearing a nice watch? Where would you draw the line? Another thing to ponder in my chambers. Once I got the chambers, that is.
"I don't even know how I'm going to get the ring back to my place tonight without seeing a robber behind every bush," she finished.
"I could go home with you. You could wear the ring for a while then I could bring it back to my house and put it in the safe with my jewelry. How would that be?" I offered.
Her face lit up. "That would be great! I've been so worried. Jure doesn't realize how dangerous it is for me to be walking around sporting a big flashy rock like that."
She was right. He hadn't thought about that. He had put her in danger without even knowing it. Had he been a vampire for so long he forgot how dangerous it was to be human?
Still, other women walked around in jewelry without fearing for their lives.
I guess it was a matter of degree. And we did supposedly have a protection spell around us, though I had yet to check that out with Amelia. She could tell me if the spell extended to our possessions.
"Can we leave now? Jure said he'd stop by the apartment later. I want him to see me wearing the ring. After he sees me in it you can take to your safe until I figure something out."
We went upstairs to the office and told Eric I was taking Linda back to her apartment. I also told him about our plans for the safety of the ring.
"I see why you are cautious," Eric said, the reality of Linda's predicament dawning on him. "It is sensible for you to only wear it when you are in the presence of those that can protect you."
Linda laughed and gave him a hug. "You mean like my Mom and Dad? I agree, I need to figure something out."
For being so worldly Jure had made a major miscalculation. He had hoped to impress Linda with the extravagant engagement ring. Instead he made her worried and confused.
That was one of the problems with being a vampire for centuries, you just got so out of touch with humans. I recalled Bill once served the Bon Temps sheriff warm beer in cans so old they were rusted around the rims, wilted carrots in the bag and a box of uncooked pasta he had dumped in a bowl.
Bill had been pleased and proud at being able to offer a human guest something. The sheriff, after a moment's hesitation, had politely pretended to nibble a rubbery carrot and take a sip of the flat cloudy beer to not hurt Bill's feelings.
"Linda wants to go home now. Should I take her or do you want to come too?" I asked Eric. I knew he had things to attend to at the club, I didn't want to rush him.
He threw me the keys to the Vette. "I need to stay and discuss our upcoming charity fundraiser with Pam. Some lucky human is going to win a date with her."
He looked at me meaningfully and our eyes smiled at each other. This annual charity Win-A-Date event was how I had ended up seeing Eric. I had won a date in a raffle for charity, a raffle I hadn't even known I was registered for until Eric called to tell me I won.
"How does Pam feel about that?" I asked, knowing she was fairly intolerant of fangbangers, especially those that worshipped her. She called them "vermin" and had kicked a few until Eric asked her to stop before they got sued.
"She knows it is her turn. We have gone through everyone else," Eric said. Then he looked thoughtful. "Except Jure. Do you think that he .."
Linda headed him off. "No Dad, absolutely not. He hates having to interact with fangbangers. He won't even come to the club unless I beg him.
"Then Pam it is," Eric decided, a wicked little smile on his lips.
He liked giving Pam a hard time occasionally. I think on some level he has never forgiven her for being wild and footloose after he Turned her. Still, they have remained friends over the centuries and occasionally business partners, like now. That said a lot.
Linda went to get her coat and we left by the back entrance. I noticed how she clutched her purse to her chest.
"You can put that pretty ring on your hand, sweetheart. Mommy's here," I told her.
She looked startled for a moment, then she grinned. She got out the ring and put it on. Even under the dim lights in the back lot the ring shot fire and light. You could probably see it from space.
"You're the best," she told me, giving me a hug.
"You are too," I responded as we buckled ourselves into the Corvette. I put the top up, cranked the heater up to high to keep my little girl warm, and off we went into the beautiful night.
more to come ..... (Howdy Fanpires! Hope you are having a good time at year's end. I am having a wonderful time coming here and visiting with you. See you Saturday, til then, wishes for health and happiness to you.)