The aftermath of the party.
Anna nodded but did not look up.
Gerard took out a cigarette and lit it. His thoughts and emotions were so confused he simply tried to block everything from his mind for a few minutes.
Beside him Anna sat completely still.
He glanced over at her. “Why aren’t you breathing?”
When she looked up he saw that her eyes were once again icy blue. “Does it matter?” She asked softly. “You know what I am. There is no reason to pretend.”
He took a deep drag off his cigarette but didn’t answer.
“I’m gonna call Ray and tell him we had car trouble.” Gerard said as he sat their bags down just inside their hotel room. “If we leave early we can still get to the venue a couple of hours before the Meet and Greet.”
Anna nodded then crossed the room to the bathroom. She shut the door and he heard her engage the lock.
“Fuck.” He muttered as he pulled out his phone to make the call.
Bob looked over at Claire and saw she was getting sleepy. “Hey go on in back and lay down.” He said softly.
She sat up and shook her head, “No, I want to stay and keep you company.”
“Honey I can see that you’re tired. Shit, I can’t believe it took us so long to pull out. We won’t get the venue until almost noon. Go lay down for a few hours.”
Still Claire resisted. “I am happy here.”
“Okay then Bob said glancing over at her a moment, “So tell me about Hudson.” He’d been dying to ask her about the man but with all the difficulties they’d encountered after the concert this was the first time he had the chance.
Claire suddenly wished she had gone back and laid down. She hadn’t had time to discuss with Anna how they were going to explain their acquaintance with Hudson. “Uh, we know him because he is a friend of her uncles.”
“Really?” Bob was surprised. “How’s he know him?”
“I am not sure.” Claire answered.
Bob thought a minute then said, “Uh he seemed to think you’ve changed.”
“I have changed since meeting you.” Claire said with a smile. “I believe anyone who knows me would see that.”
“So am I a bad influence?” He teased.
Claire wanted to keep the mood light, “Oh very bad. I have taken up drinking perhaps next I should try gambling.”
Bob laughed, “Shit woman. You can take up anything you want as long as you let me try it with you.”
“I am most happy when you are at my side.” She said softly.
“I know the feeling.” Bob said reaching over for her hand.
Gerard disconnected the call then sat down on the bed. At least no one would make a big deal about them being late because the rest of the band would arrive late too. He lowered his head suddenly feeling the events of the night come crashing down on him.
Suddenly Hudson’s words filled his mind. It frightened Gerard that he understood Anna hated herself. Yet he did seem to care for her. Gerard prayed that he could trust the man. He just felt so overwhelmed by emotions he wanted to lay down and close his eyes.
He fell back on the bed and stared at the ceiling. He could hear water running and realized Anna must be showering. Suddenly a feeling came over him he couldn’t explain. He jumped up and ran to the bathroom door. Anna needed him he could feel it with ever fiber of his being.
“Anna?” He tried the door but remembered she had locked it.
He knocked and waited. He could still hear the sound of the shower.
“Anna” He said her name louder but got no response.
Taking a deep breath he pushed into the door by lowering his shoulder. The door rattled but did not budge. “Fuck.” He muttered. He took several steps back and kicked the door with his foot. The wood splintered around the lock. He rushed in and threw back the shower curtain.
On the floor of the tub Anna was curled into a ball oblivious to her surrounding. Gerard saw that her skin was covered with angry red marks. His heart shattered into a million pieces when he realized she had caused the marks by viciously scrubbing her skin.
“Oh Sugar.” He whispered as he reached over and shut off the taps.
Anna lay sobbing with her eyes closed.
He gently lifted her into his arms taking her to the bed. He laid her down then ran back to the bathroom to grab a towel. When he returned he saw that the marks were gone. Her body had healed itself but it could not heal her mind.
As he gently dried her body she opened her eyes. “I just want to get his scent off me.”
Gerard looked into her eyes wanting to say something to take away the pain.
“I am sorry.” Anna whispered. “Sorry I entered your life. I was selfish to believe I could ever be a part of it.”
“You saved my life.” He said stilling his hands. “You have become my life. Don’t ever fuckin’ say you are sorry again.”
Anna turned her head away.
“Look at me.” He said waiting until she did. “What happened tonight was brutal but we got through it together.”
“How can you not hate me?” Anna said her voice shaking. Suddenly the anger she held inside erupted, “You watched me fuck another man.”
“No I watched him fuck you, Anna.” He said roughly. “I watched it because I understood that was all it was.”
“I hate him.” Anna said tears filling her eyes again.
“But he doesn’t hate you.’ Gerard answered, “He cares deeply for you. I understand what he did was to protect you.”
“I have lied to myself. We are nothing more than savage monsters. I simply wanted to believe there was good among us.”
“There is good among your kind. I am looking at the good.” Gerard said lying down and taking her still damp body into his arms. “I know that Jacob and Hudson also are not evil. They care for you Anna. What Hudson did tonight shows that.”
Anna shook her head; “I can not do this anymore.”
Her words caused fear to run down his spine. “Don’t say that. You’re just upset right now but it’s gonna be okay. Hudson told me that the way you acted tonight will make them accept you and stop questioning your actions. That’s important, Sugar.”
“The way I acted.’ She said softly, “Was the way I truly am. You do not understand that is what I am, Gerard. I live off blood. Blood that turns me into a mindless animal.”
“You were not mindless when you started to cry.” He whispered stroking her arm. “He told me when he took your blood your thoughts were of me. You love me Anna, it goes against everything you are supposed to be but it’s true.”
She closed her eyes.
“I told you before and I still mean this..I will do anything; suffer through anything to be with you. I love you Anna.”
He could feel her tears soak through his shirt as she cried. He held her tight and let himself cry with her.
“What are you doing?” Mikey asked rubbing his eyes as he walked from the bedroom. He’d awoken to find he was alone in the huge bed. Now he saw that she was sitting on the sofa with a book in her hands.
“I couldn’t sleep.” She said as she marked her spot in the book before closing it.
“How come? You aren’t having any pain are you?” He asked taking a seat next to her.
Alicia laughed, “No, Mikey I’m fine. I can’t sleep because I’ve been resting so much. So did you tell Gee the doctor said I’m doing great and we can rejoin the tour on Monday?”
“I tried to call him but he didn’t answer. I talked to Ray and told him. He said that Gee and Anna had taken a car after the show.”
“I meant to call her today.” Alicia said thinking to herself. “I wanted to tell her how much I love this book.”
Mikey looked down at the cover in her lap. “That’s Gee’s favorite.”
“I can see why.” Alicia said, “Shit, it’s like the thing was written for him.”
“What?” Mikey gave her a puzzled look.
“Come on you didn’t realize how much of this book parallels Gee’s life back when he was going through his divorce?”
“But the main character is a woman.”
“Yeah, so?” Alicia said, “Don’t you think he had just as many strong emotions as a woman during the divorce?”
“It almost fuckin’ destroyed him.” Mikey said sadly.
Alicia nodded, “Yeah, just like Julie in the book.”
Mikey shrugged, “I guess I never really thought about it.” He stood. “Now come on, back to bed.”
“Only way I’m going back.” Alicia said giving him a smile, “is if you promise I don’t have to sleep.”
He grinned, “I’m pretty sure we can find something else to do there.”
“Sugar I’m gonna undress.” Gerard whispered. For the last twenty minutes they had held each other in silence. He slipped his arm out from under her then got up. Quickly he undressed then returned to the bed. Anna’s eyes were closed and he wondered if she was sleeping.
“I am awake.” She said not opening her eyes.
He laid back down and pulled her to him again but not before grabbing a blanket so that he could cover them.
“Anna.” He said softly.
“It doesn’t matter to me but I think you should breathe.”
“Why? I only did it when we were alone so I would appear human for you. But tonight you saw the ugly truth about what I am.”
Gerard had gone over in his head what he wanted to say. “Anna you need to stop thinking like that. You told me yourself that we both have the same Maker. Stop believing that because you are different, because you kind is different that makes you bad because that’s just not true. A part of me wants to hate Hudson but something he said tonight made sense. He said that I need to stop thinking like a mortal. He said I need to realize while fuckin’ different from the way I think is the norm for him. His kind, can’t love so they don’t look at sex the way we do.”
“But I am his kind.” Anna said her voice shaking.
“You are but your more. Hudson gets that and that’s why he’s so attracted to you. He understands you love, he gets you feel emotions you shouldn’t and he’ll protect you.”
Anna titled her head to look into his face, “Did he also promise to protect you?”
Gerard nodded, “He told me that what he did would help to protect both of us. He said that because he took my blood and I took his I am bound to him. But what I don’t understand is I don’t feel any different. When I drank his blood for a moment my mind was full of fuckin’ weird red images but then they just faded.”
“Our blood bond is stronger because we exchanged much more blood and because my blood healed you.” Anna explained softly. “But he is right. Others will know you now have a bond to Hudson. A bond with a Pure is very strong and they will sense it immediately.”
“Then that’s a good thing.” Gerard said trying to keep a positive attitude. “And the fact that he marked you as his will also protect you, right?”
“I hate that you had to witness that.” Anna whispered.
“I won’t lie it was fuckin’ brutal to watch but I understood why. Tonight was a learning experience for me. I understand so much more then I did before.” He tightened his arm around her. “And it made me realize even more how much I love you.”
Anna hugged him in return.
“Now close your eyes Sugar and sleep. We both need sleep. Don’t worry about having a nightmare. If it happens I’m right here and I’ll help you through it.”