Chapter four – Negotiations
I was in Eric’s office. A huge room with shelves full of books, an enormous Arabian carpet covering on the wooden floor. Eric’s desk had stacks of papers with drawings and measures of buildings and furniture. There were also some books of Art Gallery expositions, History of Art with pictures of famous paintings and painters, files with light brown covers that seemed the ones that we usually see in TV Police Stations. It even had a logo printed on the cover.
Eric was sat on his leather comfy chair behind the dark secretary. He was talking on the phone. Rather he was arguing at the phone with no other than King Francesco. He was demanding an explanation for the trespassing of the other King’s troops in his lands. He had a royal attitude and a hard tone, showing his annoyance and how outraged he was with all those events.
King Francesco seemed to be taking the trespassing issue rather lightly, and he was more interested in asking questions about me. The rogue witch that he believed he had the right to chase. I was amazed when Eric took me as his ‘foster witch’ if there is even a term like that. But I had just been adopted, and I had won a kingdom to belong to.
I didn’t know if I should be happy or annoyed. I didn’t need him to protect me! For the most part. I could be powerful, but I couldn’t take a whole kingdom against me. I needed protection and friends. Being Anna’s best friend had its privileges. I was officially part of her uncle's entourage. I had a king and an army to defend me and an angry prince on the phone, demanding an explanation about the attack on his lands and wanting to know why the hell King Francesco had the Book of Shadows of a fallen coven. Especially when it was a white light witches’ coven that had fallen in the hands of a rogue and condemnable. My coven had prestige and respect among the supernatural community.
In Eric’s words, I had stolen nothing, since the book belonged to my family. So, Francesco was the one that had to explain how the book got to his hands. Eric even threatened to go take the matter to the High Council of Vampire Kings, which his own dad was part of, so they would take the proper actions to investigate King Francesco’s actions.
Eric knew how to talk to and intimidate Francesco. However Francesco knew how to babble and annoy Eric, remind him that he was not the King, his father was. His father should be discussing the issue with him. He even dared to mention the fact that his father was weak and had no longer the power and the prestige he once had. Being in another continent, so far from where Eric was, gave Francesco the arrogance and comfort to talk arrogantly to Eric’s threats.
Eric didn’t let his cockiness slide easily. He reminded Francesco that he had family in Europe, and he had friends in high places, and a bigger and stronger army of werewolves and vampire. He also reminded Francesco that he had the means and the ways to travel to Europe to resolve the issue in an old-fashioned way. That meant that he was not afraid of pulling the big guns and declare war and kill all his family and himself.
I was feeling like Helen of Troy. That was exciting, yet weird at the same time. I knew they were just saying things in vain and I hoped that things didn’t come to a war between clans of vampires and packs of wolves because of me. However, someone had to stop Francesco and find out in what dark and dirty business he was in. He was plotting something. He was hanging with the wrong crowd. He had ties with Alaric. Those ties had made Eric really upset. Anna explained me that Alaric was family, meaning that Eric and Alaric were brothers. Alaric was the black sheep of the family. He was also Anna’s uncle and the sick bastard that was killing hybrids like he had the right to decide who lived or died. Not only that, but Alaric had killed Anna’s parents. So Alaric had a big and round target marked on his forehead.
Francesco firmly denied any kind of association to Alaric. He would not confess something like that. The High Council of Vampire Kings was looking for Alaric, wanting his head and the head of anyone that would protect him, hide him or associate with him.
I was getting exhausted. Diplomacy matters were boring as hell. I wanted to go and see the rest of the palace. The whole place looked amazing. I wanted to explore the library that Eric had promised me to show me. He had said that his family had really old scrolls with detailed descriptions of ancient languages. He also said that there were stacks and stacks of Book of Shadows. That sole affirmation made my heart race fast. Having hundreds of raw and forgotten spells that I could use, or information I could know was enticing. I could even get lucky and find an Ancient Celt´s dictionary. It was the rarest and most prized possession in Vampire or Witch libraries. It was believed to be the language of the gods. No one remembered or knew how to speak it, at least I thought there wasn’t anyone. My families’ darkest secrets were written in Ancient Celt.