Anna and Claire speak about the future. Jacob calls Anna.
Alicia had been released from the hospital and she and Mikey had settled into their hotel suite where they would be staying for a week. After the week was over Alicia hoped her return visit to the doctor would clear her to travel with the band so that Mikey could return to the tour. Her progress thus far was making it look like that would be a possibility. As much as she’d like to go home and be with Mikey for a while she knew in her heart he missed being on the tour.
Now she and Mikey were sitting enjoying the room service breakfast. Well she was enjoying the breakfast but Mikey’s attention seemed to be on his laptop. Their belongings had been sent by courier to their hotel from the tour bus and had arrived last night.
“Mikey your eggs are getting cold.” She said with a frown.
He glanced away from the screen. “Hey guess what.” He said excitedly. “I got an e-mail from Anna. She sent me the first four chapters of her new book.”
“Oh, the one that’s gonna be published in a few months?”
He nodded, “Yeah, she says her publisher hasn’t given her the actual publishing date yet. How fuckin’ cool is this? I get to read Annabelle Lewis’s new book before anyone else. She said to let her know when I’m read and she’ll send more.”
Alicia took a sip of her tea. “That was nice of her. You know I’ve still never read any of her stuff. I’ll read it too.”
He nodded, “Sure but you really should read her others works too.”
Alicia shrugged, “Yeah we’ll since I’m supposed to get out and move around maybe we’ll go to a bookstore today and pick some up.”
“Yeah, that’s a good idea.” He closed the laptop not wanting to start reading the chapters until he had time to give them his complete attention. “So any pain today?”
“Just a twinge now and then.” She admitted.
“Well after breakfast you shower and then I’ll check your incision.”
Alicia laughed, “I can check it myself you know.”
“I know but that’s my job. I’m taking care of you Mrs. Way.”
She smiled at him warmly, “And you are doing a wonderful job, Mr. Way. I love you.”
He reached across the table and took her hand in his, “And I love you.” He said from the bottom of his heart.
“I should lean to drive.” Anna said more to herself than Claire who was sitting beside her.
Claire took her attention away from the early morning traffic a moment and glanced over at her but remained silent.
Anna smiled then looked back at Bob who was gently snoring on the sofa. Beyond him Gerard was sleeping in the bedroom. Both men and Claire had shared the driving duties through the night. “I should be helping. I do not like being the only one not participating in the driving.”
Claire shrugged, “It really does not matter. Most of the trips between the venues are not this long.”
“How much further do we have to travel?” Anna asked.
“Still several more hours.” Claire sighed, “We will not get to the venue before noon. And when we do they have several engagements before the concert.”
Anna nodded. “Yes Gee told me about the radio interview.”
“I spoke to Christa and she and Jamia wanted to know if we would like to go shopping with them while the men are gone this afternoon.”
Looking out the window at the passing fields Anna answered, “That would be nice however I should work on my notes.”
Claire decided to speak her mind. “Anna I do not think you should give up your writing. There truly are so many who enjoy your stories.”
Anna sighed, “I do not know what I want to do. I really do not know what will happen at the end of this tour.”
Claire glanced over at her. “You will stay with Gerard, of course.”
Anna continued to look out her window without answering.
“Anna.” Claire said softly, “You love him and he loves you. That will not change.”
If Bob hadn’t been asleep on the sofa Anna would have felt more at ease to speak her mind but now was not the time. “What are your plans after the tour is over?” Anna asked lowering her voice.
Claire’s fingers tightened nervously on the steering wheel. “It will depend on what you do.”
That was not the answer Anna had hoped to hear. It was also not the answer Bob wanted to hear. He lay very still listening to the two women.
“No.” Anna said looking over at her. “What I do will not dictate your plans. We both knew this day would come, Claire.”
“I do not want to discuss this.” Claire said shaking her head.
Anna smiled, “Bob is a good man and he cares deeply for you. Do not throw that away.”
“He is a good man.” Claire said. “A very good man.”
Bob felt his whole body relax upon hearing her words. Now he just had to figure a way to make her believe they should be together.
Gerard was deep in the dream when he felt her soft lips press against his. He opened his eyes and smiled, “Hey Sugar. We there yet?”
Anna smiled. “We arrived a few minutes ago. Bob and Claire have already gone over to met the others.”
“So we’re alone?”
“Yes but they are expecting you to join them momentarily.” Anna answered knowing exactly what he had in mind.
“Shit.” He muttered. His body was still feeling the effects of the dream he’d been enjoying. He was having a lot of those dreams lately. He sat up slowly. “Wish we had time.”
“As do I.” Anna whispered.
“So I guess we go to the radio station first.” He said remembering the band had a full day planned.
“Yes that is what Bob said.” Anna confirmed.
Anna stood as Gerard prepared to get up from the bed. “Guess we better get going.” He said with a frown.
“I am going to go shopping while you are gone.”
He turned to face her. “I thought you were going with me?”
Anna shook her head, “No the other women are going shopping and they asked Claire and I to accompany them.”
“But I want you with me.” He said shaking his head. “You should go with me.”
“Gee.” Anna said softly. “We discussed this. I can not be at your side constantly.”
“Why the fuck not?” He asked suddenly feeling angry. “I want you there.”
Anna sighed, “As much as I want to be with you it would seem strange to the others.”
“I don’t give a fuck what they think. I don’t care what anyone thinks.” He automatically reached for his cigarettes and lit one.
“But you should.” Anna said hoping his anger would pass quickly. She decided to try another tack to defuse some of that anger. “Perhaps while I am shopping I will find something special to wear for the next time we are alone.”
His frown did not disappear but his curiosity was piqued, “Something special?”
Anna smiled, “Yes. I will admit I have never bought what would be considered sexy lingerie but if you would enjoy it I will.”
He knew what she was doing and it only made him angrier. “You don’t have to wear anything special to get me hard. I can just look at you across the room and see that you are the sexiest woman on the planet.”
Anna laughed, “Well thank you.” She moved closer and kissed him sweetly. “It really will be all right. I understand that right now being away from me is hard for you to handle at times but this will pass.”
Even though he understood what she meant he didn’t like the way it sounded. “I ain’t ever gonna get over wanting you will me every fuckin’ second of the day and night. I just hate that you think I will.”
A knock on the RV door caused them both to turn.
“That is no doubt someone looking for you.” Anna said as she reached out to touch his face.
He grabbed her hand and turned it to kiss her palm. “Never Anna. I mean it.”
In her heart she wanted to believe his words. She wanted to believe them more than anything in the world.
Frank shifted from one foot to the other while he waited for someone to answer his knock. When Gerard finally appeared he grinned, “Hey we gotta take off. You ready?”
“Yeah.” Gerard answered still none to happy.
Seeing Anna behind his friend Frank nodded to her. “Jamia said to tell you to be ready to leave in about twenty minutes.”
Gerard turned and pulled her into his arms for a long passionate kiss.
“I will see you in a few hours.” Anna whispered when they broke apart.
He looked into her eyes and she could see the fear.
“It will be all right.”
He nodded then turned to follow Frank across the parking lot to the waiting van.
Frank glanced over at Gerard and noted his slumped shoulders and frown, “What’s wrong?”
Gerard shrugged, “Nothing,”
“You get enough sleep?” Frank asked.
“I’m fine, Frankie.” Gerard said in a rush, “Stop worrying about me.”
Frank decided to level with him. “Can’t help it. Lately it seems you are a roller coaster of emotions. One minute you’re on top of the world and the next you’re pissed about something.”
“I’m not pissed about anything. I just …” He stopped himself. There was no way he could explain how he was feeling. Being away from Anna just felt so wrong. He’d never felt like this towards another woman. In the back of his mind he couldn’t help but wonder if part of what she said was true. Once the bond wasn’t fresh would be feel the same?
“Just what?” Frank asked.
Gerard tried to get his emotions in check. “I dunno. Being in love makes me crazy I guess.”
Frank gave him a curious look but decided not to push him. Still he was wondering why being in love was messing so much with his friend’s mind.
Anna had just finished applying lip-gloss when her phone rang. She glanced at the screen and saw that it was Jacob calling. She half considered not answering, as the others would be ready to leave soon, but decided she should take the call.
“Annabelle.” His voice was smooth. “I am calling with a matter of grave importance.”
Anna sat back down. “Yes?”
“I have heard something troubling. It was brought to my attention that some of the elder members of the council are watching you very closely.”
“I am sure they are.”
Jacob sat back in his chair and sighed, “Annabelle I was also told by a very close acquaintance that she believes there could be a plot underway to discredit you and in turn discredit me. I am sorry that the enemies I have collected over the years have chosen to seek their revenge through you.”
This was what Anna had feared. “I had planned on calling you to discuss this.” She admitted. “Gerard was approached by a woman blood bound to another.”
Jacob sat up. “He was approached? What exactly happened?”
Anna knew she had to tell him the truth. “She tried unsuccessfully to seduce him. It was done in the presence of his friends.”
“So they would question his relationship to you. His relationship to his fiancée.” Jacob added putting emphasis on the word fiancée.”
Anna heard the meaning loud and clear, “Yes Jacob. Had he been unfaithful to me his friends would have known this was very out of character. They already question his devotion to me.”
Jacob sighed, “Annabelle you know this has all been so rushed.”
“I understand but there was no other choice. Had his doctors discovered the tumor I could not have healed him. I wish we could have been together longer before the bond but that was not possible.”
“Because you are positive this man is your soul mate.”
“He is my soul mate, Jacob.” Anna answered closing her eyes. “This I do not question.”
“And he feels the same towards you?” Jacob asked softly. “It is not just the blood bond you share?”
“I believe he feels the same way.” Anna answered gripping the phone tightly.
“Oh Annabelle.” Jacob could feel her uncertainty. “I should never have filled your head with stories about soul mates. I fear this situation you find yourself in is of my doing.”
“Jacob you shared a truth with me. That is all. You know true soul mates exist.”
“Perhaps I only wanted to believe it was true.” He said so softly Anna barely heard his words.
Anna’s heart went out to him. The sorrow in his voice was clear. “You know that is not true.” She whispered.
He shook his head, “What I know to be true is this..just because you find the one who is your soul mate does not guarantee your happiness.”
“Will you ever tell me?” Anna asked. Jacob had never shared the complete story of what had happened between himself and the woman he loved, his soul mate.
“Highly doubtful.” He answered deciding to end that conversation. “Right now my only thought is how to protect you. You must be very careful Annabelle. The fact that this man is well known only adds to the problem. Has he realized he is no longer an alcoholic?”
“Yes.” Anna answered, “He discovered that fact for himself.”
“And he understands that to the world he must still be an alcoholic? He understands he can not suddenly drink again?”
“He understands. I explained that there would always be the possibility he could reverse the healing and become addicted again.”
“Good.” Jacob nodded to himself. “And he understands his behavior must not suddenly appear altered?”
“Yes. We have discussed it.”
“So when this woman approached him he did not give in to the temptation?”
Anna faltered before answering, “He did not.”
“He would be a fool to choose another over you.” Jacob said in a steely tone. “I understand the fresh blood bond brings emotions such as lust to an incredible high however if he does anything to hurt you he will have me to answer to.”
Anna was shocked by his tone. “Jacob please do not say such things. If he should falter and give in to certain emotions I do not want to find it necessary to protect him from your wrath.”
“From my wrath?” Jacob repeated drumming his fingers on the desk in impatience and anger. “That is an apt way of describing the degree of my anger should the man hurt you.” He waited a moment for her to speak and we she remained silent he added, “The fact that you seem surprised by this confuses me. Annabelle you know how deeply I care for you. I would give up this life I have lead for centuries if it would assure your safety. Never did I believe you would find another who held such potential to hurt you. Once again I am afraid you have done so because I filled your head with romantic nonsense.”
“I love him.” Anna whispered brokenly. “Nothing you ever said made this happen. Had you never told me the legend of our kind finding soul mates I still in my heart believe I would have found him.”
Jacob shook his head sadly, “I can only imagine what I feel must be similar to the feelings human fathers have towards their daughters.”
Anna spoke from her heart. “Jacob you are father, brother and best friend to me. I love you. I hope that it something you understand even though at times my actions might not speak to this truth.”
“And I love you Annabelle. Please promise me you will be careful. You have put such trust in this man that I am frightened for you.”
“I understand.” Anna said softly. “And I promise to stay true to our laws. Gerard’s blood bond is still very fresh and I understand this is a very difficult time for him but he is trying very hard to handle his emotions.”
“I am pleased to hear that.” Jacob said letting his gaze fall to the framed photo on his desk. It was a photo taken years ago of Anna and Claire who was ten at the time. “How is Claire?” He asked suddenly. “Is she offering you any assistance?”
“Of course.” Anna said wondering why he would suddenly question Claire’s devotion. “Why do you ask?”
Jacob thought back to his last conversation with Claire. “I assume she did not tell you I called and spoke with her several nights ago.”
“She did not mention that fact.” Anna admitted. “Did Claire say something that has made you question her actions?”
“You could say that.” Jacob frowned. “I do believe she…” His voice trailed off a moment. “I believe it is called brushed off. Yes, that is correct. She brushed me off.”
Anna’s eyes grew wide. “Claire brushed you off? What do you mean?”
“It was my wish for her to remind you how important it is for you to be mindful of your actions and that of Gerard. She informed me that perhaps it would be best if I told you that myself.”
“Claire said that to you?”
Jacob chucked softly, “She did indeed.”
“Good for her.” Anna responded then quickly added, “I do not mean that in a bad way.”
“I understand what you mean, Annabelle. You are pleased she is beginning to strike out on her own. But tell me does it not make you somewhat sad? You have had her at your side since she was a child.”
“Yes it does make me sad and yet I know it is the right thing for her to do. When I saved her I never intended for her to devote her life to caring for me. I am very happy she has found a man to love who returns that love.”
“So you are ready to let her go?” Jacob asked.
“I love her so yes. Her happiness allows me to let go.”
“It does complicate things that he is a friend of Gerard’s does it not?”
Anna thought a moment before asking, “Just slightly. In some ways it is nice that as long as I stay with Gerard it will mean I will see her often.”
“But as they age what will happen?” He needed to see where her mind was on the subject.
Anna sighed, “It will be difficult when the time comes for me to leave them.”
“Have you spoken about this with Gerard? Has he come to terms with the fact that this will happen?”
“It is something he knows but we have not discussed it at great length.”
Jacob closed his eyes feeling her sorrow through their bond. “Has he suggested staying with you for all time?”
“I will not discuss that with him. Not now.”
“That is wise.” Jacob said pleased with her answer. “I am sure right now with the bond so fresh the ides would seem pleasing to him. However the stark reality of what that would mean would be something he could not comprehend. Of course the other stark reality is that it is possible the council would not allow such a thing.”
Anna did not what to think about this. “I know that is true. I simply do not want to think about this now.”
Jacob felt her confusion. “Not thinking about things does not make them go away. Believe me I know this fact more than you could ever know. Take care not to simply wish unhappy topics away because they always return and often with a vengeance.”
His words caused a shiver to travel down Anna’s spine. “I understand.”
At the radio station the on air interview had just begun. Ray had answered the first question by a phone in listener while the others sat listening.
Gerard was finding it difficult to concentrate. Since leaving Anna behind at the venue he was feeling apprehensive and that fact bothered him. He knew it was illogical to feel this way. And realizing that fact was making him angry. As he sat there doubts started creeping into his brain. What if Anna had lied to him? She did have control over him but was that control something she was holding over him for her own reasons? What if these effects weren’t due to the blood bond?
Gerard looked up and realized that it was a commercial break. A young intern who they’d met when first arriving was handing him a soda. “Thanks” he muttered.
“You’re welcome.” The girl smiled. “Can I get you anything else?” Her hand touched his when he reached for the soda.
Her soft skin caused a jolt to pass through him. He looked up into her eyes and saw she was very attractive. Her long black hair was parted in the middle framing her face but it was her green eyes that caught his attention. “Uh, no but thanks.” He forced himself to answer.
She smiled again. “When they come back from the break there will be two more callers and then another break. You can step outside for a smoke then.”
“That’s good.” He answered suddenly feeling the need for nicotine. He couldn’t keep his eyes off her. “Uh I’m sorry I forgot your name.”
The DJ gave the signal that they were on air again. Tammy moved away slightly but stayed in the room.
Gerard’s eyes stayed on her, as did his thoughts.