Chapter One Hundred and Thirty Four
After a few weeks Amelia called to set up a time we could do the necessary spell to find out about Jure's past wife. I had thought about trying to trick Linda into giving me something of Jure's or better still, something from that castle wardrobe. In the end it was easier just to ask Linda. She was not at all put out by my request, in fact I think it was a relief to her to find out exactly what had happened. She was not willfully blind and she was sensible, qualities that eased my worries considerably.
The fragile ancient woolen shawl Linda had taken from the castle and Jure's old broken watch were handed to me with three conditions.
First, that Linda be present when Amelia and her witch associates did the spell. Second, that this would be kept a secret from Jure and everyone else. Third, and this was the hardest for me, that whatever we found out would not cause me to put up any resistance or dampen my happiness for my daughter in her future plans.
It was hard telling Eric that I might not be able to share the results of the spell with him. Linda didn't want him there and she didn't want him told if she chose to keep the information to herself. She loved her father but she knew he was capable of doing something decisive to prevent her marriage to an unsuitable man. This could potentially cause big problems, even fatal ones, for those involved. Best to tiptoe around the direct approach and do a little magical reconnaissance.
Eric was reasonable but he was not controllable, not even by me, if he set himself on a course of action. I didn't know if that was part of his Vampire nature, part of his Viking heritage or ... simply ... how Eric was from the cradle.
"You will be there?" he asked me.
I told him about the conditions Linda placed on our fact finding mission while he was in his home office. He had been looking over plans for a grandiose expansion of Fangtasia, something he periodically did to distract himself from other concerns. This time I suspected he was worried about what I might discover about Jure.
"Yes, I will. I'll know what happened if Amelia's spell works, but Linda doesn't want anyone, including you, to know if the news is bad. She's concerned it will cause an obstacle to her plans if you learn something that goes against Vampire tradition or law. She also concerned something will anger you to the point of retaliation, starting a feud. Don't forget, she knows a lot about Vampire politics."
He nodded, understanding that once you learn something you can't unlearn it. "It is better for you to be there than to have her do this without either of us."
He swiveled around in his chair and took my hand. He asked, "Am I such a tyrant?"
I sat on his lap causing the chair to roll around crazily until he planted his feet. "Not at all, you are a protective father and a very powerful Vampire. That must make you seem kind of like a loaded gun to Linda."
He kissed me with loving sincerity, then asked in my ear, "A loaded gun or a loose cannon?"
I whispered back in his ear, "Maybe its more like a loose canon. I think I can feel it rolling around on deck beneath me right now."
"You should make an effort to secure it," he suggested, and that's just what I did.
I secured it, then I secured it again. Then we went hunting poachers and visited our grandson. Life doesn't get much better than that.
I wore a loose fitting outfit to visit Amelia the night of the spell. I wasn't sure if she was going to have us sit in a circle and I wanted to be comfortable. Linda rode to Amelia's with me. She was uncharacteristically silent and tense. I didn't try to make small talk mainly because I didn't want to do or say anything that would cause her to change her mind. She was doing the right thing, facing the truth. It was better to know than not to know. Her knuckles were white as her hands gripped each other.
Finally I couldn't take the silence any longer. "A penny for your thoughts," I said.
She turned to me and grinned. She looked so like her father at that moment. She said, "I was thinking that you drive like Dad now."
That was came as a surprise. I immediately lightened my touch on the gas pedal.
She added, in case her meaning wasn't clear, "Like a maniac with a death wish."
"Oops, sorry," I said, meaning it. I recalled how I used to berate Eric for the way he drove. Now I was roaring down the highway with the same reckless abandon. I kept slowing down until I was under the speed limit.
Linda visibly relaxed. I felt guilty for being the one to make her nervous. I had thought it was fear over what she might find out about Jure's past. Being a vampire and acting like one crept on a person, diminishing regard for personal safety and human laws over the years until it eventually eroded away to nothing, I supposed. But that wasn't going to happen to me, I was going to keep my awareness up about the things that matter to humans. Like not getting in a car wreck.
"Thanks for letting me know. If you see me doing anything that is too ... vampireish .. please let me know. I don't want to lose touch with my human side."
She looked at me with interest. "So you feel like you still have a human side?"
"Of course!" I protested. "I was human longer than I am like I am now. I actually AM human with certain modifications. When my electrons aren't here they are Somewhere Else, somewhere different from where your electrons are when they're not here. But when they are here I am human with a modification." I didn't think I was explaining this very well, but I was no Tesla.
She laughed. "Are you saying that none of us is all here?"
"From what I understand we are here and not here simultaneously. I don't think time works the same way for electrons that it does for big things. I think electrons can be more than one place at the same time, though I have no idea how."
She mused, "If Amelia can summon a vision from the far distant past then maybe things don't work quite the way we think they do here, either. Maybe all time is happening at once but we can only be in one place of it due to our physical limitations. Maybe Anna Hita has less of those limitations than we do so she can travel through time."
"And dimensions," I added. "Although I don't even know what dimensions are."
She said, "I think of it like a loaf of sliced bread. We're on one slice, next to us are slices that are pretty much the same but with slight variations. I would like to travel to a whole new loaf someday when I'm Vampire. Maybe we can all go all together." She patted my shoulder lovingly.
Wow, Linda had not only thought about Turning, she had even thought about what powers she might have over the centuries.
She was looking forward to these adventures, something I hadn't even considered. I had joined Eric in his desire to travel to snowy untouched Arctic places sometime in the future when our family, business, and Pythoness obligations were not so pressing but I had never envisioned leaving this time or this dimension. Linda had more going on in her mind than I had ever suspected.
"I'm impressed with your spirit of adventure. Lots of people want to travel, but you REALLY want to travel. Like the hippies used to say, Far Out! I hope we do get to travel to other times and dimensions. But not right away. I want to see little Kyle grow up. Besides, I don't even know if I would have the capability to travel like that. Different Vampires have different gifts."
"What gift does Pam have?" Linda asked. "I always wondered about that."
"I know she can turn into a little green light and hover and fly around. I don't know what else she can do. How about Jure, is becoming smoke the limit of his abilities?" I asked, hoping to draw her out a little if she knew anything about Jure I didn't know.
"I know he's telepathic and he can send the most glorious dreams ..." she sighed.
Then she came back to reality. "I think he can do other things too though he's quite reluctant to boast about his powers. He ..." she stopped, realizing she might be talking too freely. "He's really very sweet," she finished. I suspected that had not been what she was originally going to say. Once one of my girls clammed up there was no use trying to pry anything more out of them.
Besides we were at Amelia's house. Every light in the old farm house house was on to greet us. In my mind's eye I could see my dear Gran standing on the porch, arms crossed, sweater over her stooped shoulders, waiting for me to return from my job in Merlotte's.
Superimposed over the present I could see myself, the past human me with pony tail and black shorts, getting out of my old beat up clunker, dead tired after waiting tables and putting up with the intrusive and sometimes insulting thoughts of the patrons. In my mind I could see the past come to life.
Later on tonight, we would all see the past come to life. What it would reveal would determine Linda's future.
more to come .... (Greetings Fanpires! We're almost through Feb and headed towards spring if you are in my part of the world. There are already glorious wild flowers blooming in my imagination. Hope you are keeping well and taking good care. Thanks so much for stopping by! See you next Sat.)