Chapter One Hundred and Thirty Nine
The next night I woke to the sure and certain knowledge that Jure had telepathically entered my mind, had tried to implant a fake memory. I ran to find Eric and tell him.
He was in his office, taking care of some business matters, waiting for me to rise as he did every night. Some nights he sat by my side watching over my rest, some nights he tried to get some work done until I was up. Since he was a thousand years older than I was he rose almost an hour before me.
"Eric, Jure tried to trick me. He told me the truth but telepathically he tried to give me a different story. That is why I was confused, it was like trying to listen to two messages at the same time."
Eric spun in his swivel chair and frowned. "I want to hear all about it. First you must eat."
He could see the drawn look I had when I was hungry. I was so upset that I hadn't thought of my meal first thing. I was using bagged donor blood lately. It was still pretty fresh and heated it met my immediate needs. Not too bad. Kind of like the difference between fresh and frozen vegetables. You prefer fresh, still the frozen ones will do nicely.
Once I was fed I got dressed while talking to Eric. I explained what had happened, how I felt reality shift. I was sure that was when Jure sent the alternative scenario to my mind.
"What are you going to do about it?" I asked when I was done. We were going to the club tonight so I wore an appropriately black long gown and red lipstick to highlight my chalk white skin.
Eric dressed too, and as he pulled on his favorite Ramones tee shirt and tight black leather jeans he thought.
"I am going to have a talk with him and tell him not to do it again," he finally declared. It was a mild response, tempered, I was sure, by the knowledge that his daughter was in love with Jure and the repercussions of alienating him.
"How can he kill Drevan again?" I asked. I was looking through the coat closet for my floor length velvet cape until I remembered it was at the cleaners. I settled for a black wrap. Why do people think vampires should look funereal? We are the ones that live forever.
"He can not. That does not concern me. It is the abuse of his telepathic powers that is the problem. How dare he enter your mind and try to change the information enshrined there," he said, getting angry. "That is unacceptable."
I agreed. Before we left the house we called the club to make sure Linda and Jure were there. After we parked the 'Vette, before we entered the club, I had a thought,
My new notion was so startling I put my hand on Eric's arm and said, "Please, let me take the lead. I will explain later. I just had an idea, an alternate explanation for what happened to me. I need to ask Linda something to find out if what I suspect is true."
Eric was going to ask me more about what I meant when Pam opened the back door and motioned for us to come inside. She must have heard the car and was waiting for Eric.
Pam looked like a disco queen tonight in a flowing peach colored quiana side-tie dress, puffy teased up frizzy bangs, bangle bracelets, and the kind of high heeled platform shoes you couldn't pay me to wear. I heard a muffled version of "I Will Survive" coming from the club and remembered, too late to do anything about it, that this was their semi-monthly disco dance party. Anyone that showed up dressed in the disco style got a free Sex On The Beach drink in a lit up tumbler. Looks like I wouldn't be getting one, I was dressed like Vampira. Not that I could drink one anyway.
Pam and I nodded warmly at each other. I could feel the kinship flowing between us. It was a good feeling, like family. Pam and I might have had our bumps in the road, but at the end of the night we're friends. If permission for her to Turn Jason and Angellica was ever granted we would be entwined even further in our connections.
"Master, we have an inspector here that is questioning our liquor license. I renewed it myself but he says there has been a complaint filed against the club and until it is resolved our license is suspended. We have a line waiting to get in and I don't know what to do," she said.
Periodically, especially when local elections were looming, some minor politico tried to close down the club on one pretense or another, hoping to garner the ultra-conservative anti-vampire vote. Eric and Pam ran a squeaky clean club, for the most part, and the few secrets Fangtasia had .. well, they were kept secret.
Eric said, "I will speak to him and find out what the problem is. Meanwhile, keep Ginger in the back. She does not make a good impression."
I said to him, "I have an idea, why don't I go speak to Jure and try out my idea, you take care of the liquor board guy, and we'll meet out here by the car in a few minutes and share stories?"
I saw a flicker of curiosity in Pam's eyes when I mentioned Jure but she didn't ask any questions. We all went in the employees door, the uninspiring back entrance to the club. Linda was going to redecorate it once she finished with the office, in the meantime the chipped linoleum tiles, hanging fluorescent tubes and flaking paint was left over from the Clinton administration.
Eric went with Pam into the club, I went to the office. I knocked before entering just in case the silence I heard from within meant they were smooching.
They weren't smooching. They were sorting paperwork in banker's boxes. Jure must really love her to help her with this tedious chore, I thought. He had his snow white shirt sleeves rolled up revealing muscle thickened forearms lightly covered with jet black hairs. Even the hair on his arms was the iridescent blue-black of a raven's wing.
They stopped sorting and greeted me, Linda giving me a hug and Jure giving me a nod. Linda wore a red velvet dress and and emerald necklace, another gift from Jure. With her blond hair and blue eyes she looked spectacular.
"You look lovely, Linda. I'm so happy to see that what you learned last night hasn't upset you."
"Oh I was upset, plenty upset. I'm used to things the way they are now, civilized and logical. Old time vampires were like the wild west, I guess. Everybody kept the law just for themselves. They made up the rules as they went. Jure could never have let Drevan go, not after he tried to kill him."
"Who tried to kill who?" I asked, confused.
"Drevan tried, more than once, to kill Jure and take his land. Taking Celandine was just the final straw. Drevan wanted the family fortune and he would stop at nothing to get it."
I looked at Jure. He had stopped sorting and stood still with a sheaf of papers in his right hand. He said, "Drevan was ambitious. He wanted to usurp King Tomislav and become King. He wanted to have the first openly Vampire country in the world. He would have ruined our family fortune in pursuit of his unrealistic goals. He would have exposed us to humans that wanted nothing more than to stake us. He was, in a word, mad."
This wasn't the first time I had heard of a vampire that had gotten graniose delusions of world take over, nor would it be the last. Once the power of becoming a vampire took hold, some saw it as merely a first step in a larger plan of owning and controlling everything. Vampires were no different than humans. Every so often one came along that would stop at nothing to rule the world, to run things according to the way they saw fit. Like they said, power corrupted.
"So you have forgiven Jure for killing his brother?" I asked, just to make sure that was the story she had heard last night.
She put her arm around his waist. "There was nothing to forgive. He did what he had to do to prevent a major blood bath."
I thought of all the dictators that were operating even now and how much better the world would be if they had brothers that saw the rightness in stopping them from their crazy plots.
Just as important I had the answer to the question that had occurred to me. He hadn't telepathically planted a thought in my mind, I had gone into his mind and heard the bogus story he told everyone about what happened to his brother. Linda heard what he said, not his thoughts. It was my mind that had blinked out reality for a split second, not his. It was my mind that entered his mind, not the other way around.
What this meant for the future I did not know.
more to come ..... (Happy weekend to everyone .... hope you find renewal and good things. See you next Saturday with bells on my toes!)