Chapter One Hundred and Twenty Five
On the way back to the club, zooming down the quiet streets in the Corvette, I thought about all I had learned tonight.
First, Linda was protected by a spell, something that reacted to a disturbance in her "aura". That was a good sign. I was still going to check with Amelia but now I thought I might could wait until Charlaine got here, then I could bring all three girls in for a spell 'check up'.
The second thing I learned was that Jure could turn himself into a puff of smoke. Handy if you were Jure, not so good if you were a sheriff wishing to detain Jure. I had no reason to think Eric might want to do that, still I was going to give him a head's up.
The third thing was merely a strong suspicion.
It just seemed way too conincidental to me that Jure "realized" Linda was nervous about wearing the valuable diamond ring the same time as she was worrying about it. He also seemed to have come around to the idea of Linda staying human just about the time we learned Anna Hita could help Linda have Jure's biological child. He was reading someone's mind, maybe everyone's mind, or I was a Neanderthal's uncle.
He had been forbidden from glamouring us to control our thoughts and actions, and we had our rings bespelled to block the mind control of Anna Hita or anyone else with the power to glamour us. That prohibition didn't or maybe couldn't extend to his telepathic powers to simply tiptoe around in our craniums on a fact finding mission. There was no way to know if he was paying a little visit to our thoughts now and again if he was clever about it.
I knew for a fact Jure had visited my mind. I thought it had been on the same level of intrusion as a neighbor that consistently uses your driveway as a convenient turn around. Though it is technically trespassing and therefore irritating, it's not enough to start taking drastic legal action.
I had asked him to stop sending the dreams, stop visiting my mind, and he stopped, or at least appeared to have stopped. My sweeping Jure dreams stopped. They had been like chapters out of steamy romance novels. These were dreams I was sure he planted in my mind, though he had never owned up to it.
Even though he was not glamouring Linda, wasn't finding out all her problems and objections a telepathic trick? He was using his insider's knowledge to find out anything that put Linda off him and fix it.
Was this an unfair smoothing of the path to his arms? Most men, when courting a woman, will go to just about any length to woo and win her. Their whole mind is on their goal. Was this any different, or just wooing taken to a new level?
What did Linda want? She wanted a life with children, a husband and a decent lifestyle. With her telepathy she wasn't going to get a normal human life, her powers would drive her nuts if she could read her husband's mind all the time. No one, no matter how well meaning, could stand up to that kind of scrutiny.
She had never been interested in the other supernaturals whose minds were also opaque to her. In fact she had only ever been interested in Jure.
Right now things were fine. I wasn't going to rock the boat. I didn't think Jure had evil intentions towards Linda and that was the main thing. Every couple had obstacles and issues, working them out was what allowed for growth and personal development.
On this philosophical note I pulled the car around the back of the nightclub, parked it in the same spot I had taken it from and went back in the employees entrance.
I could hear Pam and Eric arguing before I even got the outside door shut. I was tempted to turn right around and wait in the car. I really didn't feel like being the third party in their battle of wills. Eric wanted Pam to be the prize in the charity raffle and she didn't want to do it. I stiffened my spine and walked to the office door, hearing every word of their disagreement.
"Everyone else has been the vampire date prize," Eric said. "Everyone but you. Why should you be the only one that is not made to pay fealty to me?"
"Fealty? Fealty?!? Seriously, Master, you dare to speak to me of fealty? I am here, night after night, turning away gum chewing idiots with fake ID and keeping order. Who could you pay to do what I do?" she spoke acidly, her voice almost a hiss.
"You are paid, you own half the club, you reap half the profits. It is in your interest as well as mine to see we are not shut down."
"So what? I do my job, you do yours. This charity is extra, not part of my job description. If it means so much to you then you ..."
She stopped as I entered the room. "Maybe Sookie would like to be the dream date," she said over brightly. "Here is someone that has no duties in the club." She smiled a big fake smile at me, her fangs slightly out.
"My duties are elsewhere," I pointed out.
Pam bowed low to me, her voice sarcastic. "Oh yes, I forgot, Great and Wise Pythoness. I see how your one or two trials a decade might prevent you from .."
"Stop, Pam," Eric said, a warning tone in his words. "As her Maker I do not think she is ready to interact with humans in that way yet."
"And that is my problem how?" she asked, her hands on her puffed out woolen hips. She must have had to turn sideways to get through the office door in that steampunk dress.
"It is your problem because it is your turn to go on a date. Mike Malone will go if the winner is a woman, you will go if the winner is a man."
"How sexist is that!" Pam objected. "What if I wanted to go out with the woman?"
"This is not about what you want, it is about what the winner of the charity raffle wants," he said, "I suppose it is possible that.."
She cut him off. "No, No it isn't. It's about what YOU want. It's always about what YOU want."
She stomped towards the door, put her hand on the knob, stopped and turned back. Her face was now a blank and neutral mask.
"Sorry Sookie," she said calmly and quietly. "Some of my anger leaked out on you. None of this is about your being the Interim Pythoness. Congratulations on your appointment. I couldn't think of anyone better to fill in."
She gave me a short sharp nod of respect and left, squeezing her voluminous skirts through the door frame then closing the door gently behind her.
After a few silent seconds Eric said, "Even Pam might one day be brought into High Court and have her fate decided by the Ancient Pythoness."
"I may be the telepath but this time you read my mind," I agreed, going to him to hug him and fill him in on what I had learned at Linda's.
more to come ..... (Super Saturday nestlings! Hope things are going your way and you have a lovely day. I'll be back Wednesday, hope you will be too! Warm wishes on a chilly day!)