Gerard learns more about the world of Healers.
“I am sure you do.” Anna answered softly.
Gerard absently ran his fingers down her bare arm. “But fuck, I just don’t know where to begin.”
“I will honestly answer any question you ask.” Anna said softly. “I will never lie to you.”
He believed that with his whole heart. Sitting up he moved so he could lean back against the headboard while still enjoying the feeling of Anna’s body molded to his. She scooted up slightly so she could lay her had on his chest.
“I love the sound of your heartbeat.” She whispered.
Gerard reached for his cigarettes on the nightstand and lit one. He blew out a stream of smoke while trying to phrase his words carefully. “Anna, I have heard your heat beating too.”
She looked up into his eyes and smiled, “You are wondering why my heart beats.”
He gave her an uncomfortable look, “Well yeah. I mean I didn’t think…” His words trailed off. He was afraid he’d say something that would hurt her.
Anna sat up and looked directly into his eyes. “You are wondering why a dead woman has a heartbeat.” When he started to speak she held up her hand to silence him. “It is alright, Gee. I understand you are reluctant to say the word dead.” She smiled sadly, “But that is what I am. My human body did die.” She sighed as she reached out for his hand. Placing it on her chest she pressed his palm to her heart. “You feel my heartbeat?”
A moment later Gerard’s eyes grew wide as he felt it slow then completely stop. “Fuck, how do you do that?”
“We learn how to make our hearts beat to appear human. The same goes for breathing. I do not need to breath.” To prove her point she sat completely still.
Gerard couldn’t stop the small feeling of fear that coursed through his body. The woman he loved was sitting before him with no heartbeat. She wasn’t breathing and yet she was smiling.
“It is scary, is it not?” Anna asked softly.
He shook his head then leaned over to flick his cigarette into the ashtray. He didn’t want to look her in the eyes when he lied, “No, not at all.”
Anna laughed, “You can not lie to me.” She said then grew serious, “I have promised not to lie to you. Please make me the same promise.”
Gerard took another drag off the cigarette then snuffed it out. Slowly he turned to face her, “I’m sorry. Yeah, it’s kinda fuckin’ scary.”
She nodded, “That is why you will always see me breathing. You will always feel my heartbeat.”
Scooting back down in the bed he gently pulled Anna back down into her original spot. Once her head was lying on his chest he spoke again. “I’m just trying to figure out in my head what’s real and what’s just Hollywood bullshit, you know? I mean you’ve proven so many of the superstitions wrong already.”
“What we are was corrupted into the ideas that many believe. Well really I should not say believe because we are thought to be simply fictional, but you understand.”
“Yeah” He nodded, “I get it. Shit like not being able to be in the sun.”
“Yes. However the biggest lie is that we are evil by nature. That all of my kind exist only to feed on humans. A notion that is very far from the truth.”
“You said you have the same Maker.” He was struggling to understand, “You mean, God?”
“The Supreme Being.” Anna explained, “Called by many different names.”
“But why?” Gerard wondered out loud, “Why make a race different than humans?”
“That is the great question for which no one was found an answer. It has been suggested by those who do know of our existence that were we created to bring chaos into the world. That we were created to be evil but that is not true. My kind is made up of good and evil, just as humans.”
“So other than the things I know what makes your kind different than humans?”
Anna sighed, “The ability to chose good over evil is harder for us.”
“Oh course. Through our abilities we are superior to humans in many ways. We can easily control their thoughts and actions. With that ability comes a great sense of power and power corrupts. However for me the most difficult obstacle I face is the lack of emotions.”
Gerard frowned, “What?”
“Humans feel emotions for each other. We do not share that wonderful gift.”
“But I know you feel emotions.”
“Healers share the ability to feel some of the same emotions as humans but sadly most are not good emotions. We feel anger, lust and jealousy. Healers do not have the ability to feel compassion or love.”
“But you love me.” Gerard said struggling to understand.
“I love those to which I share a connection. Jacob, Claire and you.” She hugged him tightly; “It was so wonderful to feel that connection when I first saw you. You have no idea how it felt to me. It was like being a human again. I looked into your eyes and I truly felt emotion.” She let her mind fill with memories of that day.
“But I was just a little kid.”
“You were just a child that is true. But I felt love. I wanted to protect you. It was so hard for me watching you grow into a man. Each time you stumbled my heart ached.” She lowered her voice, “Each time you fell in love with another my heart broke.”
“And you felt all that without a blood bond.”
“Yes, because you are my soul mate. I was able to feel those emotions and even though at times the pain was great I welcomed it.” She leaned up on her elbow to look into his face, “Being able to feel is a gift. I wish with all my heart I could feel emotions for others.” Tears suddenly appeared in her eyes, “I wish with all my heart I could feel friendship towards Christa, Jamia and especially Alicia. I try so damn hard.”
“Oh Sugar.” He dropped a kiss on the top of her head not knowing what to say.
Anna chose to share something with him that was painful. “The morning of 9/11 as I stood behind you I wanted to feel the pain all of those around me were feeling. I believe that day I felt more dead than I have ever felt.”
“You were there? With me?”
She nodded, “I was standing behind you on the ferry.”
“Oh my God.” Gerard whispered. “And I didn’t know.”
“The only thing that stopped me from falling into complete and utter depression that day was you. I could feel your pain. You made me feel human.”
“I still don’t understand why you didn’t reveal yourself to me sooner.”
She looked away, “I was afraid. Afraid that if I did you would reject me.”
“How the fuck could I have ever done that?”
Anna laid her head back down on his chest. “Why do you find that so hard to believe?”
“Because you are a beautiful woman.”
“And you believe my looks alone would have attracted you?”
He heard pain in her voice. “No, not just your looks. Anna, you are a beautiful woman inside and out.”
“There have been many beautiful women in your life.” She gently reminded him. “We had nothing in common.”
He shook his head, “That’s not true. You are an artist and a writer. We have that in common.”
“I have always been both.” Anna admitted. “Mama always encouraged me to paint and to write but until I met you I did neither. Until I felt the time was getting closer for us to met I never drew or wrote.”
“I still can’t believe you became a writer for me.” He whispered.
Anna hated how pathetic she was feeling, “I just wanted you to find something about me interesting.”
“Oh Sugar.” He hugged her again, “I believe in my heart I would have been attracted to you anyway.”
A tear slid down her cheek, “We will never know.”
Suddenly he understood her fear. “You believe that my feeling for you aren’t true.”
“I will never know.” She spoke so softly he had to strain to hear her. “I connected with your mind before I was able to be sure.”
“Connected with my mind?”
As much as she didn’t want to tell him she had promised not to lie. “That night you invited me to your hotel room. You were in so much pain I could not stop myself from taking it away.”
He struggled to remember the night. “I don’t understand.”
“I used my ability to erase the pain from you mind.” Anna explained.
Gerard was starting to remember bits and pieces from that evening. “You put your fingers on my temples, you looked into my eyes…”
“I erased the pain.”
“And you think that because you did that it made me fall in love with you?”
It was hard for her to admit the truth, “I will ever be sure if my actions caused you to feel something for me. I was in your mind.”
He couldn’t let her feel this way. Sitting up again he pulled her up and into his arms. “Sugar, I felt something for you before that night. Fuck, I felt something the first time I laid eyes on you. But to tell you the truth the first time I really felt a connection was the night you found me coming out of that fuckin’ liquor store.” He brushed a light kiss on her lips before adding, “The night the snowflakes danced.”
Frank snuggled on the sofa next to his wife and sighed contently, “Man this is nice. I don’t wanna go back on tour.”
Jamia laughed, “Don’t be whinny. You know you love it on tour. Besides lets be honest going back on tour means Gee is okay and that’s the best part.”
“Fuck, yeah it is.” Frank answered honestly. “Man, I was scared. I really was starting to think something was bad wrong with him.”
"Me too.” Jamia admitted. “That night he fell coming off the stage scared me.”
Frank thought back to that night. “Fuck, I thought Mikey was gonna lose it.”
“Yeah, me too. And I really felt bad that Anna wasn’t there.”
“They do seem to really be in love, don’t they?” Frank asked.
Jamia heard something in his tone that surprised her. “They do. Do you think that’s bad?”
“Not bad.” Frank said quickly, “Just...oh hell I don’t know. I guess I just worry to much.”
“Because of what happened before.” Jamia said understanding his feelings.
“Yeah, that’s why. I just don’t want to see him get hurt again.”
“Frank it’s wrong to live your life worrying about getting hurt again. I know his divorce was worse than most but he’s moving on. And I think Anna is good for him.” She thought a moment, “Funny thing is I can’t really say why. She just seems right.”
“Well I hope you’re right.” Frank said nuzzling her neck. “Anyway why are we talking about Gee and his love life. I wanna talk about mine.” He teased as he slid his hand under her shirt.
Jamia laughed, “Oh really. You wanna talk about it or you wanna do something about it?”
Frank jumped off the sofa and held out his hand, “Let’s do something about it.” He pulled her off the sofa and towards the bedroom.
“You think it would be okay if I called Anna?” Christa asked setting down her magazine.
Tearing his gaze from the TV screen Ray glanced over at her. “What?”
Christa sighed, “I just kinda want to talk to her. I’m sure today waiting while they ran all those tests on Gerard was stressful.”
“Well yeah I’m sure it was.” He agreed, “But they got good news.”
“Yes” Christa nodded, “And I'm sure she’s really happy and I want to tell her that we are too.”
Ray shrugged, “So call her.” His eyes moved back to the flickering screen.
Christa rolled her eyes wondering why she’d even bothered to ask him.
Sitting at the table Gerard spooned some of the beef and broccoli Chinese take-out on his plate. As much as he loved simply laying in bed with Anna in his arms he was hungry so he’d ordered some food.
Anna was sitting across from him stirring her egg drop soup.
“You don’t have to eat that.” He said softly.
She smiled, “I like this. It does taste good to me.”
“So food does taste good?”
Anna nodded, “Yes. Some things do taste good but not all. I think my favorite food is steak. I enjoy eating a small amount as long as it’s very rare.”
“Let me guess, blood rare?”
She smiled, “Yes, blood rare.” His teasing didn’t bother her.
“Okay so more questions.” Gerard said before taking a bite. He chewed a moment then asked, “Are there other things in this world we humans don’t know really exist?”
Anna had been expecting the question, “Oh so your horror movie mind has finally surfaced.”
Gerard grinned, “Well kinda. I mean my mind is now open to so many possibilities. Things I believed before were just fiction now seem possible.”
She took a small sip of her soup. “There are other beings that inhabit the earth. Some were also given names like my kind while others are so discrete they have never been acknowledged by humans.”
“Werewolves?” Gerard guessed.
His excitement made Anna laugh, “Not in the Hollywood sense. They do not suddenly become covered with hair and howl at the full moon.”
“Well then what are they like?”
“Shape shifters.” Anna explained, “There are shape shifters that do chose to take on the form of the wolf. But they can do it at will. No full moon required.”
Gerard took a few bites while thinking. “So like are they human and can just change?”
“Yes” Anna confirmed, “They are human but with that unique gift. There are many humans who have special abilities.”
“Yes there are true psychics and of course there are fake psychics. But the true psychics are incredible. However I must be careful around them. There is always the chance they will recognize that I am not human.”
Gerard frowned, “You know I don’t like when you say that. Like you said before you are human but more.”
Anna was touched by his words, “Thank you. But I must face that fact that I am not human anymore, no matter how much I wish it could be.”
He titled his head and studied her a moment, “If you could be human again would you?”
“Why think about what can never be?” Anna whispered looking down into her bowl of soup.
“I was just wondering.” Gerard answered, “Maybe because I realize that if you had stayed human I would never have met you and that thought fucks me up.”
Anna looked up but remained silent.
He took another bite trying to put into words something that was very difficult, “I can’t imagine not having you with me.” He set down his fork, “What I’m getting at is what’s going to happen now?”
“I do not understand your question.”
“You will stay with me, won’t you?” He sighed, “Fuck I sound pathetic but I’m scared you’ll leave me.”
Anna reached across the table for his hand, “That fear is the bond speaking. You do not need to listen to that fear. I will stay with you as long as you want me.”
“Oh fuck, Anna. As long as I want you?” he repeated. “I’ll always want you.” He squeezed her hand, “Always but it scares me knowing that I’ll grow old.”
“And die.” Anna added for him softly, “Think how I feel. I will lose you but will continue on alone.” She had just vocalized his worse fear.
“I don’t want that to happen. It doesn’t have to happen does it?”
“That is something we should not discuss at this time. Our blood bond is still too fresh for you to have true perspective.”
Her answer bothered him. “Why is it wrong for me to think about being with your for all time?”
It was hard but she knew she had to try to make him understand. “Right now your attraction to me is very strong. In time it will lessen. You truly have no idea what you would be giving up if you were to become like me. I can explain it to you but you still will not understand.”
He shook his head, “You’re right I don’t understand.”
“Because of the blood bond.” Anna said softly before taking a small sip of her soup.
“At lease tell me what I’d give up.” He pressed.
She sighed, “There is so much you can not begin to understand. You would lose your ability to feel love for your family and friends. Yes, you could still be with them but it would not feel the same. Then as they grew older and you did not you would have to leave them.”
“Because I couldn’t let them know what I had become?”
“Yes, when it started to become apparent that your loved ones, your friends, all were aging and you were not you would be forced to disappear from their lives.”
He frowned, “Forced?”
“It is our way. If you did not leave them by your own accord you would be forced. We must remain anonymous, unknown to the humans.”
He could sense this discussion was unsettling to Anna but he had to know, “So just how do you disappear from someone’s life?”
“We have a very intricate network in place. Staging a death for one of our kind is very common.”
Gerard set down his fork, “So you pretend to die and the arrangement are all taken care of so it looks real?”
“Well then how are you gonna stay with me?”
Anna smiled, “I will stay with you as I am now for many years. But in time I will have to appear to leave you.” She saw his face cloud over. “But I can come back to you as another.”
“I can look very differently. I have done so many times over the years. But why are we discussing this now? That need not happen for many years.”
He looked down at his half eaten plate of food, “Yeah, I guess.”
The sound of Anna’s cell ringing halted the conversation. As she went into the other room to answer Gerard returned to eating. Several minutes went by and Anna still hadn’t returned. He pushed back from the table and went to find her.
She was sitting on the sofa looking at the cell phone in her hand. A look of sadness covered her face.
“Anna?” Gerard sat down next to her and gently reached out to touch her hand.
“That was Christa.” She explained softly. “She called to tell me how happy she and Ray are about your good news.”
He wondered why she looked so upset. “Okay, that’s nice.”
Anna nodded, “Yes, it was very nice she thought to call me. She said she understood how stressful the day must have been for me.” Anna paused, “It was very kind.”
Suddenly he understood, “You’re sad you can’t feel the same kind of friendship for her that she feels for you.”
“All I can feel is sadness.” She whispered letting him take her into his arms. “Sadness that I can not feel anything else.”