Chapter One Hundred and Twenty Seven
My first trial came upon me before I had a chance to find chambers. I unofficially designated my walk-in closet as my chambers until something better came along. Usually I would be able to conduct my trials over the internet, a modern blessing. Since so many Vampires wanted to get a look at me I was holding this trial in person.
The trial was being held in the large second floor gathering room of the Midnight Arts building. The impressive Gothic structure had been a stone construction library back in the 1880's featuring arched stained glass windows and cathedral ceilings crisscrossed with dark oak beams.
When a more modern library was needed the old building became a bookstore, then a wellness clinic, then a newspaper office and now an art gallery. The featured Midnight Arts included paintings, carvings, sculptures, etc done by or about paranormal topics. Musicians gave concerts, poets and authors read from their works. It was a nice blend of human and supernatural and one more place for vampires to meet willing donors.
Most of their items were sold online or at auction but they also had showings of local artists. They had already invited Charlaine to display her sculptures there for a one woman show. I got the impression she was going to do it. The place was very busy around Halloween and had most of their store sales in October.
I came out of the closet in my ruby red silk robes softened by a black lace collar. My hair had been arranged by a hairdresser, a meek human girl named Alice, sent to my home by Merry Dixon. The Narlock sisters, Labiana and Hymenia, otherwise known as Libby and Hy, would meet me at the MA building a few minutes before the trial began. Merry was already there, making sure things were set up properly.
Eric wore his cape over his bailiff uniform. He decided Viking warrior was the way to go so he had on his leather kilt, knee high books and a scabbard across his chest for his broadsword. No shirt of course and probably nothing under the kilt though I didn't dare take the time to find out. I couldn't be late for my first trial.
Our eyes locked as we both toyed briefly with the idea of postponing the trial and making a dash for the bed, but we were more responsible than that. Eric exulted in my role as head of the High Court, he wasn't going to let things get off on a wrong note.
"You look splendid," he said, his voice thick, gently touching the thick red silk of my robe.
"So do you," I said breathily, putting my hand on his bicep.
Another moment of considering the consequences of just saying the heck with the trial, another mutual decision to wait until afterwards. Postponement acted like a spice to an already red hot dish.
"Are you nervous?" He asked me as we headed out of the house.
"As a cat with a long tail in a room full of rocking chairs," I said, reminding myself of Tennesee Ernie Ford. Where did that come from? Oh, I remembered. Gran had some records of his we enjoyed listening to when I was little.
The drive to the MA center wasn't very long with Eric at the wheel. I don't know what he was thinking about but I was thinking about my knowledge of vampire law. That didn't take long cause I knew nada. I sighed and hoped this wasn't going to be a fiasco on a Biblical scale. Eric heard my sigh and patted my knee, then he had to shift to make a sharp corner.
Next I thought about what I had been briefed about the case. The Queen of California, who preferred to be called simply "California" had led a colorful life before being Turned by the King of California, Mo Glass. When King Glass had gone down in a plane crash, the stripper the King had married in a mad moment became Queen. Her stage name had been Mistii Mornay with three little hearts over the three i's in her first name. She had kept her last name of Mornay. I guess Mistii Glass would have sounded too much like a bathroom mirror after a long hot shower.
California had soon, one might even say rapidly, recovered from her grief over the loss of her husband. Among whispered rumors the plane crash might have had some help from you-know-who, Mistii had moved a human boy toy into the palace to share her bed. Flash Nelson, the famous porn star, lived a grand and flamboyant life with Mistii for the six months he lived. Unfortunately the inebriated Mr. Nelson had the bad luck to fall into an empty swimming pool one night and break his neck.
This led to the case the Queen had filed. She had been stopped by the Vampire Alliance from having Flash stuffed so she could mount him on the back of her favorite Harley motorcycle. The VA was the oversight committee to prevent high visibility vampires from behaving outrageously in view of humans and damaging the decades of good public relations so tediously and carefully built up since vampires made their presence known.
California had what she felt was a higher law, the law that claimed humans were the possessions of vampires and thus could be treated any way the vampire saw fit. Besides, she pouted through lips made ludicrously full by implants, poor Flash had been rejected by his religious family for years. Their claim on his body and his estate was unenforceable because he had made a will leaving everything to Mistii.
I had one of my law clerks check and found out that a body can not be willed to an individual in California. A body, or various organs, could be donated to medical schools or recipients of organs but that was handled by regulated and licensed medical personnel.
Being permanently affixed to the back of a Harley Davidson motorcycle while roaring around the streets of Hollywood would not be one of those regulated situations. The outrage engendered by such an act could set vampire-human relations back to the dark ages. I pictures villagers with torches chasing the Harley up to the big HOLLYWOOD sign and staking the Queen. I hoped to step in before it came to that.
The reason for the haste in getting this trial over was because: a) the Queen had the attention span and patience of a gnat and b) Mr. Nelson's remains were currently in a walk in freezer awaiting the taxidermist's hands. You might say he was Flash, frozen.
I thought the outcome of the trial was already evident, but I decided to keep an open mind and rule against her.
We got the prime parking spot, kissed, locked up the Corvette and went into the side entrance hand in hand.
Outside the door to my temporary court chambers Eric bent down and whispered in my ear, "You rule!"
more to come .....(Good morning all! I am off to try and figure out how to disable Java but I wanted to thank you for stopping by and making my day a little brighter. Blessings!)