Chapter One Hundred and Forty Five
The phone calls home were all reassuring. Our girls and their families were well, the club was doing fine and Jason confirmed that the renovations on the research center were all proceeding according to schedule. There was still more activity than usual in the center, raising my hopes that the Daynight project might be showing success. I didn't miss daylight but I did miss being part of the activities that took place during daylight.
The night of the re-enactment Eric was like a kid on Halloween. He tried on several leather kilts and draped animal skins over his broad shoulders and drew and sheathed his broadsword in front of a mirror repeatedly. All this sheathing and unsheathing was turning me on, a fact that wasn't lost on Eric. After a few minutes we were both naked and would have to start all over to get dressed. It was worth it.
Many of the women were going to wear plain home spun fabric tunics or gowns and hand knitted raw wool shawls. Eric wanted me to wear a long red silk dress trimmed with embroidery, accessorized with gold jewelry so breathtakingly exquisite it looked like it might have been borrowed from a museum.
"Are you sure I should be wearing these things?" I asked him, holding out my arm bands and indicating my heavy bib necklace made of coiled and pounded gold. The gold was so soft I could scratch it with my thumbnail. It was probably 22 or even 24 carat gold.
"Only you, the Profet, can wear them," he explained, lacing his knee high fur lined soft leather books.
"Does 'profet' mean the same thing as prophet?"
"Yes, you are the Ancient Pythoness. You are the reason for the battle."
"Me?" I had no idea I was to play a pivotal role in the battle. I was real glad this was all fake.
"Why is that?" I asked.
He explained. Two warring tribes wanted to possess me, I mean, the Pythoness. Back in the day she not only ruled on legal matters, she also drank from a special goblet and foresaw the events that would come to pass. Since the Pythoness was originally one of the Oracles at Delphi this made sense.
Eric was to be my personal bodyguard. I wouldn't swing a sword but I could drink from anyone wearing a sprig of Linnea Borealis or Twinflower. Eric reassured me once again that he would make sure I didn't drink too much from one donor. I felt secure, especially after room service brought a donor for me before we left for the battle ground.
Finally we were dressed. At the door he opened a carved wooden box and took out an elaborate golden crown. Eight pointed spikes on eight jeweled medallions made the crown both fabulous and heavy. He placed it reverently on my head, fluffed my hair, and stood back to admire me.
He dropped to one bare knee. "My Queen," he said, taking my hand and kissing it. I looked at his bowed head and knew that this was both a great erotic turn on and also had real meaning for Eric. He came from a time of Kings and Queens. As a matter of fact, being in Vampire culture, Kings and Queens still ruled everything.
"Stand, Eric Northman, my loyal guardsman, and take your place at my side," I said royally.
Eric looked up at me, his blue eyes sparkling with love and fun. He was glad I got it. "I hear and I obey, My Queen."
The field that was to be the location of the re-enactment battle was shrouded in fog. A warm front moving in caused strands and wisps of white to make patterns in the air. Human, vampires and a few were-wolves stood around in costume talking quietly. Their weapons looked real. Hope they all had control of their emotions.
A man in a red cloak trimmed in white fur blew a trumpet, then a big human guy with a deep voice announced something. Everyone turned to look at me.
"They are announcing your arrival," Eric explained.
I was confused. "Do you mean my arrival or the pretend arrival of a re-enactor playing the part of the Oracle?"
I graciously nodded to everyone as the men were bowing and the women were dipping a knee in a small curtsey.
Eric smiled, "Actually both. Since you have the power of life and death over each of these people they greet you as a higher authority. Please excuse me for a moment."
Eric drew his sword and in a few long strides he walked up to a hooded and cloaked figure that was turned away. With one sweep of his sword he chopped off the head of the figure. The head went flying reminding me of Eric's "bowling for vampires" quip in a similar situation. The body remained standing.
A gasp went up from the humans but I knew from the smell and sound that the figure was made of straw and wood. Eric resheathed his sword and a cheer went up from the crowd. Let the games begin.
"That was the symbolic beheading of the enemy King," Eric said happily.
"Which King would that be?"
"Whoever was in power at the time," Eric said.
Apparently this was an all purpose re-enactment to satisfy a variety of long standing grudges and historical scenarios. That was fine with me as long as nobody got hurt.
With a fierce roar a bunch of combatants rushed from the nearby woods. They were wearing fur robes, some with synthetic fur replacing the real thing, and waving wooden pikes. A group of big blond men dressed in leather kilts like Eric ran to engage them. They were good at fake fighting, looking realistic but never actually coming to blows.
The grunts of hand to hand combat and the screams of the "dying" could not completely drown out a small group of music makers that stood off to the side, pounding drums and blowing horns while a vocalist recited something in Old Swedish from a scroll.
"He is telling the saga of our victory at the Battle of Hjörungavágr." Eric's sensuous lips twisted deliciously when he pronounced "Hjörungavágr".
My fangs started to tingle and Eric reminded me, "You may have anyone wearing of sprig of Linnea Borealis."
"Really?" I asked. I wasn't sure what that looked like, but I figured anyone bothering to pin a sprig of flowers to their costume was fair game.
I had been standing off to one side but now I walked into the heart of the fracas, Eric right behind me. Anyone that didn't move out my way was shooed to one side by the fiercesome appearance of my honeybuns and his great big sword.
I found a tousle haired young man of about twenty brushing off and replacing a sprig of flowers on his cap after a wooden sword had knocked it to the slushy snow. He looked absolutely yummy, flushed with battle, long tender neck.
In a nanosecond I was upon him, looking in his eyes to glamour him then feeding, hearing his heartbeat slow to the beat of the drums and the cries of the warriors. It was glorious and I only stopped when Eric gently tugged my arm.
"There are many more for you," he said, sweeping his thick arm to take in the whole battle which continued to grow as more people joined in. It was less organized and more like a free for all now. I smelled some kind of alcoholic beverage made from honey. There were barrels of it on crude wooden tables to refresh the humans. They drank from wooden mugs.
I saw another good choice and then another and another. I grinned at Eric. "This is wonderful. Thank you for bringing me here."
Eric hugged me and said in my ear, "When it comes to a good meal, presentation is everything."
A "wounded" human smeared with catsup blood on his tunic and a large clump of flowers in his waistband staggered past me, giving me a wink. I pounced.
Eric, as usual, was so very right. Presentation was everything.
more to come ....(Greetings Fanpires. So happy you could stop by. Remembering all who gave their lives and their time to serve and protect. See you next week!)