Christa learns the truth.
“We’re backkkkkkk” Alicia laughed walking in with a huge smile in her face.
Gerard went over to them first giving Alicia a hug then he turned to his brother. “Shit, good to have you back.” He whispered giving him a tight hug.
“Good to be back.” Mikey answered happily. He carried his and Alicia’s bags down to hall to store them away.
“How are you feeling?” Christa asked.
“I feel great.” Alicia answered. “But now that we are here I feel even better. It was nice getting away for a while but that was a fuckin’ brutal way to get time off.”
Jamia laughed, “Yeah, I imagine it was.”
“We were just getting ready to head over for sound check.” Ray said to Mikey who had returned to his wife’s side.
Mikey nodded. “I’m ready.” He looked around the bus and spotted Anna. “Hey I want to thank you for sending me the story.”
“What?” Frank asked suddenly joining in the conversation. “What story?”
Mikey got a smug look on his face. “I got to read her newest book.”
“The hell you say.” Frank turned to Anna. “You let him read your new book before it’s even published?”
Anna smiled, “Yes, I had promised him he could.”
“Well what about me?’ Frank pouted. “How come I don’t get to read it?"
“Yeah, and what about me?” Ray questioned.
Bob who had remained silent until now laughed, “It’s a great story.”
The guys looked over at him. “You’ve read it?”
Bob nodded, “Well yeah.” He tightened his arm around Claire. She had let him read the story over the course of the last few days.
“He’s right.” Gerard said smiling at Anna. “One of her best.”
“Fuck we are out of the loop.” Frank said to Ray. “Obviously you gotta be dating the author, be the brother of the guy dating the author or be dating the authors friend and secretary.”
“You are both welcome to read it.” Anna said smiling at them. “While I do not believe it is my best work you may enjoy it.”
Alicia walked over and sat down across from Anna. “I’ve read it too.” She laughed. “But why don’t you think it’s your best work?”
Anna shrugged, “I do not know how other author’s view their works but for me some of my stories to me are a bit more special than others. Perhaps it is because the story line or characters become closer to me.”
“So what’s your favorite?” Alicia asked, “What book is closest to your heart?”
When Anna didn’t answer right away Gerard spoke, “My favorite will always be “The End of Me.’ He said sitting down and putting his arm around Anna.
Anna looked into his eyes and smiled, “Yes, that book for me is also the one I am most proud of.”
“I read that one.” Alicia said softly, “Recuperating gave me lots of time to read. That is an awesome book.” She tilted her head and watched Anna and her brother in law for a moment. While she wanted to voice what she’d told Mikey about the book, how it seemed like it had been written for Gerard at a time he needed it most, she remained silent. Of course that had to just be a coincidence.
Christa edged closer and took a seat. She too had read the book and was going over the storyline in her head. She was lost in thought when Anna spoke.
“I am going to catch up on my e-mails. I have an editor who is anxiously waiting for me to send him something. I do believe he thinks I am not really writing a story about the band.”
Gerard laughed, “So he’s thinking you’re just on vacation hanging with us?”
“Something like that.” Anna admitted.
He gave her a quick kiss. “I’ll see you back stage.”
As the guys started to leave the bus Frank looked over at Anna. “Yeah, well just remember when you’re writing about me to make me sound good. Hell, go ahead tell the truth it’s time everyone knows I am the brains and talent in the band.” He kidded.
Anna smiled, “Of course. You are like a super hero.”
The rest of the guys all groaned.
“Come on Frankie.” Gerard said grabbing his arm and pulling him towards the door. Anna ain’t gonna lie to make you look good.”
“Lie?’ Franks said trying to sound outraged. “Why would that be a lie?”
Jamia rolled her eyes as her husband left the bus.
Anna started to stand but Alicia spoke quickly, “Hey hold on there girlfriend. I gotta talk to you.”
Anna sat back and waited.
“So” Alicia said grinning, “I was pissed when I heard that Mikey and I missed meeting Hudson Evans. But when I heard you know the guy I was totally jealous. Spill the beans, what’s he like? No wait, first off how did you meet him?”
It was hard for Anna not to flinch. The last thing in the world she wanted to do was to think about the man they knew as Hudson Evans. She forced herself to answer. “My uncle Jacob introduced us several years ago.”
Anna nodded, “Yes they are business acquaintances.”
“How fuckin’ cool.” Alicia said excitedly, “So what’s he like? Is he really as good looking in person?”
“He is.” Christa confirmed with a smile.
“Stupid appendix.” Alicia frowned, “I should have been with you guys so I could have met him.” She looked back at Anna, “So was there anything romantic between you two?”
Once again Anna forced herself to remain calm but her mind was suddenly filled with the memory of Hudson’s face as he’d thrust into her over and over. “No, never.” She answered.
Claire, who was aware that something very disturbing had happened at the party, tried to steer the conversation in another direction. “Anna if you’d like I can help you get your notes together to send.” She could sense how unfomfortable the conversation was becoming for Anna.
Alicia was oblivious to the fact that anything was wrong. “But I heard he said you broke his heart.”
“Hudson is quite the flirt.” Anna said trying to appear nonchalant. “That is just his nature.”
Alicia frowned, “And here I thought I’d get some juicy gossip.” She turned to Claire, “So you know him too right?”
Claire nodded, “Yes.” She offered no other explanation.
“He said my name was almost musical.” Jamia said with a smile.
Anna groaned inwardly. Damn the man was always glamoring women without even trying.
“Really?” Alicia sighed, “I wish I could meet him.”
Christa was sitting quietly watching the exchange. While she’d been star struck at first meeting Hudson the more she thought about it there was something about the man that bothered her.
“I really must get to my e-mails.” Anna said standing. She leaned over and gave Alicia a quick hug, “I am so glad you are back.” She said softly.
Alicia grinned, “Yeah, me too. It’s great to be back with my friends.”
Her words touched Anna more than they should have.
Hitting the send button Anna sat back and sighed.
Claire, who had accompanied her to the RV, looked over. “Are you okay?” She asked gently.
“I am fine.” Anna answered.
“It is difficult for you to talk about Hudson.” Claire said in understanding.
Anna had not been able to discuss the party with Claire. The memories were too raw. She nodded then looked away.
“Gerard did speak to me about it.” Claire said then seeing Anna’s shocked stare added quickly, “He only told me that something happened that he believes will protect you.”
“Marcus coupled with me.” Anna said flatly.
“Oh.” Claire digested the words. “I see.”
Anna closed her eyes fighting to remain calm.
“The protection of a Pure as old as Marcus is good.”
“Yes.” Anna answered, “However the fact that Gerard was forced to watch still fills me with uncontrollable anger.”
“Oh shit.” Claire whispered.
“Shit, indeed.” Anna nodded opening her eyes. “He also bonded with Gerard. That bond will protect him.”
“Marcus blood bonded with him?”
“It was necessary.” Anna explained sadly, “William Karah was also at the party and had expressed his desire for Gerard.” She felt tears spring to her eyes, “I was forced to offer Gerard to him, unable to deny him as he is much older than I. Marcus stepped in and made it known he wanted us.”
“William must have been livid.” Claire said. She had only once met William but knew he was dangerous.
“He was.” Anna nodded.
“Anna, I am so sorry.” Claire said sadly.
“I am grateful to Marcus for the protection Gerard has obtained.”
“And for yourself as well.” Claire remained her softly.
“I do not care about that.” Anna’s voice took on a resigned tone. “Gerard’s welfare is my only concern.”
“You can not think like that.” Claire said shaking her head. “You must care about yourself also.”
Anna stared at her blankly.
A knock on the door prevented Claire from saying more. Christa was standing outside. Once in she sat down and spoke quickly.
“Anna I need to ask you something.”
Anna nodded, “What is it?”
Now that she was here Christa was finding it difficult to put her thoughts into words.
“”Would you like to speak to Anna alone?” Claire asked.
Christa looked over at her, “Oh no. Not at all I’m just kinda finding it difficult to explain what I want to say.”
Anna looked at her closely, “Just tell me what it is you want to know.”
“I just don’t want to upset you because I did promise I wouldn’t ask questions.”
“There is something about me you wish to ask?”
Christa shook her head, “Not really. You know I get these strange feeling sometimes about people and well that’s happened.”
“Go on.” Anna prodded gently.
Taking a deep breath Christa asked quickly, “I have this weird feeling about Hudson Evans. When I first met him I didn’t at all but now the more I think about him I just keep getting this weird feeling that something about him is very strange.”
“Why is this such a concern to you?” Anna asked.
“Well I was just over at the venue and everyone is really excited, especially Alicia because Hudson Evans just invited us all to a party in Vegas.”
Anna blinked a moment unable to get her emotions under control.
Christa was watching her closely, “You don’t really like him do you?” She asked.
“This can not continue.” Anna said ignoring Christa’s question while looking over at Claire.
Claire nodded sadly that she understood.
“What can’t continue?” Christa asked feeling suddenly very confused and slightly frightened.
Anna pushed back from the table turning in her seat so that she was directly facing Christa. She started to speak but Christa quickly stood and took a few steps away. “No, don’t. Please Anna don’t do it. I’ve promised you I won’t ever say anything about the little I do know about you. Don’t erase the memories I have.” She paused then whispered, “I need this.”
Her deep emotion touched Anna, “You need this?”
Christa sat back down but kept her eyes on the floor, “Yeah, I know this is gonna make me sound pathetic but I need this. Knowing what I do and knowing that you’ve trusted me makes me feel special and I don’t want to lose that.”
For several moments no one spoke. Finally it was Anna who broke the silence. “Christa it is for your own protection as well as Gerard and Claire that I erase your memory.”
“Why?” Christa asked. “I have promised you my silence. Has something changed and you don’t believe me now?”
“Hudson’s presence has changed things.” Anna said sadly.
Christa nodded, “I was afraid of that. There is something about him, I’m not wrong.”
Claire suddenly spoke, “Anna you know there is a way.”
Anna gave her a shocked look, “You are suggesting it?”
“Yes.” Claire nodded, “I know I was jealous at first but now that I know that was wrong.”
Christa wondered what the two women were discussing.
“It is possible.” Anna sighed, “But I must do what I think is best.”
“Then let her decide.” Claire said looking directly into Anna’s eyes. “I think you owe that to her.”
Christa raised her gaze, “Yes, please. Let me decide.”
Anna was still looking at Claire, “This is dangerous you realize that.”
“You know you can always just erase her mind if she chooses not to accept.”
“Perhaps.” Anna said slowly, “However there is something different about her mind. It resists my suggestions. Before her memory was not completely erased and that should not have happened.”
Christa felt like she needed to say something, “Anna please trust me. I want to understand.”
“And you understand that you can never speak of this to your husband? Can you promise that with a clear conscience?” She asked still not looking at Christa.
“Yes.” Christa whispered her answer after a moment. “I love him but this is something that is important to me.”
Anna turned to her, “What do you believe I am?”
The question caught Christa off guard, “What you are?”
“Yes.” Anna nodded insistently, “What do you think I am? I want to hear you say the word.”
Christa took a deep breath, “I feel ridiculous saying this but something like a vampire.”
No matter how many times Anna heard the word vampire it caused her to flinch. “So you believe I am a vampire?”
“Not in the classic sense” Christa said quickly, “I mean not like that stupid Hollywood version. Sunlight doesn’t hurt you..”
She started to say more but Anna stopped her, “I am sure you have given this thought and have realized I avoid direct sunlight when at all possible. I wear long sleeves and cover my face. While I do not burst into flames it does hurt my skin for a time until it heals itself.”
Christa’s heart began to race. She thought she’d been prepared to hear this but now she was afraid.
Anna smiled sadly seeing the fear in her eyes, “Should I continue this?”
Nodding slowly Christa said, “Yes.”
“Fine.” Anna sat back, “Holy objects. Since you have seen me wear various religious objects such as crosses they must not have power over me.”
Christa nodded and gathered her thoughts, “I remember one of the first conversations we had. I said that I believed vampires did not have to be evil.”
“You said that they could have the same Maker as mortals.” Anna leaned foreword, “You were correct.”
“Holy shit.” Christa said amazed, “I was right.”
Anna nodded, “Yes and your beliefs drew me to you. The word vampire is derogatory. We are Healers but during the centuries fear and ignorance changed the way we were viewed. We were forced into the shadows because of ignorance and intolerance. Now my kind walks among the humans undetected and it must stay that way. To bring attention to ourselves is against our laws.”
“But I promised I would never say anything and I mean that with all my heart. Anna just knowing is so exciting to me.”
“There are things you do not understand. We are able to detect those who know of our presence. If you and I were together in a room with another of my kind the risk of the other sensing you knew would be too great.”
“Hudson.” Christa said softly realizing for certain. “He is also like you.”
“No he is more. He is a Pure, he was born a Healer. I was turned.”
Anna nodded, “I was born in Colorado in 1877. My human life ended in 1892” She sat back to let her words sink in.
“Holy shit.” Christa said in amazement. Suddenly she was no longer afraid simply full of unanswered questions. “So I’m right about Gerard too. You healed him with your blood.”
“He was dying of a brain tumor.” Anna whispered.
“Oh my God.” Christa sat up straighter as the truth sank in. “Dying? Gee was dying?”
“Oh my God.” Christa whispered. “So that first x-ray did show something.”
“It did” Anna confirmed. “That is why I rushed back here. I knew that if he went to his doctor in LA and they ran more tests the truth would come out and there would be nothing I could do when that happened.”
Christa was still in shock, “So you healed him before he went to the doctor.” She said beginning to understand. “And now he is okay.”
“He is in perfect health.”
“Oh holy shit.” Christa said softly. “This is amazing. I just can’t believe this. A Healer.” Her voice was filled with awe.
“Do not believe that my kind are all good because you would be sorely mistaken. Just as mortals there are good and evil among us. We live by a completely different set of rules. Healers do not feel love.”
“But you love Gerard. I know you do.”
Anna sighed, ‘Just as you know you are different than most humans because of your ability to feel things so am I. I feel love the human emotion I should not feel. That is a fact I must keep hidden from my kind. Love is viewed as a foolish, weak emotion. However when Healers bond with humans a certain amount of caring is involved.”
“You mean a blood bond?” Christa asked.
“Yes.” Anna watched her closely to gage her feelings.
Suddenly Christa looked at Claire. “When you were a child Anna saved you. That is the deep emotion, your connection to her.”
“She saved me from death just as she did Gerard. That makes our bond very deep. Anna then raised me, she was first my mother, now she is my best friend.” Claire said softly looking at Anna.
Anna smiled at her warmly. Never before had Claire voiced she had been like a mother to her.
Christa leaned back against the sofa cushions and let everything she had just learned filter through her brain. “I still don’t understand. They know the truth about you so why is it dangerous if I know?”
“I share a deep blood bond with them both. Another Healer would sense that, they can smell the bond.”
Christa was still confused.
“They would sense that they know the truth but the bond would explain why. There would be no concern they would ever reveal the truth because through the blood bond I am able to control their thoughts. In Gerard’s case his bond is very deep and still fresh. I have had to make sure he controls his emotions. A blood bond as deep as ours has very intense reactions. Until his mind and body accept what has happened emotions such as anger and lust can overpower him.”
“That explains that woman.” Christa said to herself but was suddenly horrified she’s spoken the thought out loud.
Anna nodded, “I assume you heard about the girl he was attracted to.”
Christa looked away, “Ray kinda mentioned it to me. He was shocked that Gee was flirting with her but I’m sure it didn’t mean anything.”
“It did mean something.” Anna explained without going into the details about the girl who deliberately tired ignite his uncontrolled lust. “Until the bond fades it is hard for him to control his desires. His body craves the lust.”
“But he loves you.” Christa said quickly.
“Yes I know he does.” Anna smiled slightly, “As I have said he is not fully in control of his mind or body at this point in time.”
“So if I am understanding this correctly the Healers can sense if a human is aware they exist? Can they read their minds?”
“No we do not hear thoughts just sense the truth.”
“And you are afraid that if I am around Hudson he will sense that I know about him.”
“He would sense you know now that I have told you the truth.”
Christa looked back at Claire, “What did you mean when you said there was a way?”
Neither Anna nor Claire answered.
Suddenly the truth came to her and her voice shook, “But if we shared a bond then me knowing wouldn’t matter, would it?”
“Oh.” Christa looked away suddenly feeling fear wash over her.
“Do not fear.” Anna said softly, “I am sure I can erase your mind. It may take more than most humans to do so but I feel I can accomplish it. It would be the easiest choice.”
Christa twisted her hands nervously in her lap. “But if there was a blood bond I could still retain all of this. I could still know the truth.”
“Why is that so important to you?” Anna asked truly wanting to understand.
“It just is. Very important.” Christa whispered.
Again silence fell on the room for several minutes.
“You said that the blood bond allows you to control their minds.” She looked at Claire, “Does she control your thoughts?”
“No.” Claire said softly, “While that is what Anna is bond by her kind to do she does not. And that fact is very dangerous for her. Anna controls neither Gerard nor myself. She allows us freedom.” Claire wanted her to understand, “As a child growing up Anna did control my thoughts it was something she did out of necessarily. However once I became an adult and she knew I had reached an age where I could truly make decisions for myself she released the control and let me decide for myself what I wanted to do with my life, a life I would not even have had she not saved me.” She looked over at Anna, “Of course I chose to stay with her.”
“So you’re supposed to control their thoughts basically you are expected to be their Master.” Christa said finally understanding, “But you can’t make yourself do that. Because you feel love you can’t treat them that way.”
Anna nodded then looked down. “Yes and if they were to discover that I would be brought before the council and I am sure destroyed.”
Christa thought a moment then sat up with a feeling of resolve. “Then the only answerer is for me to have a blood bond with you. Will I too suffer problems controlling my emotions while it is fresh?”
“Christa you need to be sure you are making the correct choice.” Anna said, ‘Very sure.”
“I am sure Anna. I trust with my heart that you will treat me just as you do Claire and Gee. I am not afraid you will control my thoughts. I want this to assure I can keep my memories and protect you. Until now I didn’t realize how dangerous it was for you to let me keep the memories I had. Now I understand.” She smiled feeling in her heart she was making the right decision, “So will I have problems adjusting?”
“No.” Anna said, “Our bond would not need be that deep. Because I was healing Claire and Gee they had to take a great deal of my blood. You would not. You would simply feel a great deal of strength for several days. I have been told that it feels like a natural high. Your mind and body will accept it easily because it is not a great deal of blood.”
“Okay then.” Christa said, “When do we do it?”
“You are sure?” Anna asked again.
Christa nodded, “Yes, very sure. I want this Anna. I really do.”
Claire stood, “I will go over to the venue to make sure you are not disturbed.”
“So we will do it now?’ Christa asked.
“I can not let you leave knowing what you do if there is not a bond.” Anna explained softly.
Christa nodded, “Yeah, I get that.”
Claire leaned down and hugged her impulsively, “Thank you.” She whispered, “For understanding and for your trust in Anna.” With that she left the RV making sure to lock the door behind her.
“I have to admit I am a little nervous.” Christa said when Anna rose from her seat.
“I will not harm you.” Anna said moving over then sitting down beside her. “I can make this easier if you look into my eyes.”
“Glamour.” Christa said in awe. “So that part is real.”
“We do have that ability.” Anna admitted.
Christa shook her head, “No, I don’t want that. I want to do this knowing it is happening.”
Anna smiled, “It would just make you less nervous.”
“Nope, I’m fine.” Christa said. “What should I do?”
Reaching over Anna gently pushed her hair over her shoulder to expose her neck. “I will first take your blood. Just a small amount but enough for a bond to form. Then you will drink from me just as Alicia did but more than she took.”
“From your arm?”
Anna nodded while feeling the hunger begin to flow through her body. It was a feeling she could not control.
“Your eyes.” Christa said softly.
Anna nodded, “My body understand what is about to happen. It craves the blood.” She opened her mouth to reveal her fangs. “If you have changed you mind you must tell me now. I will not be able to control this much longer.”
Christa looked deeply into her topaz eyes then turned her head.
Anna slowly lowered her head and placed her lips on the delicate skin of Christa’s neck. At the same time she took her hand and held it tightly. “There will only be a moment of pain.” She promised. When her fangs sank into Christa’s neck she cried out but Anna squeezed her hand. A moment later Christa’s whole body relaxed and she moaned softly feeling overwhelmed by so many emotions she couldn’t comprehend.
As Anna continued to suck the blood Christa pulled her hand away and lifted it to Anna’s head. She stroked her hair gently urging her to take more.
Anna pulled her mouth away then licked the wound to stop the blood flow. Again Christa moaned this time in frustration. She did not want Anna to stop.
“I understand.” Anna cooed then kissed her neck before sitting up. She saw that Christa’s eyes were wide open.
“Oh.” Christa’s voice shook as she watched Anna bite into the skin of her arm.
Anna smiled as she held out her arm. “Drink."
Christa looked down at the wound feeling an overpowering desire flood her body. Her lips hungrily latched on to Anna’s arm. While she drank Anna stroked her hair.
When enough blood had been shared Anna pulled her arm away then lifted it to her mouth to lick the blood that flowed. This healed the wound immediately.
Christa watched and was fascinated by the small bit of blood that stained Anna’s lip. Without thinking she leaned foreword pressing her lips against Anna’s. Her tongue darted out to lick the blood.
Anna understood Christa’s actions so she gently returned the kiss then put her arms around the woman holding her tightly for a few moments until the blood lust abated.
“Oh Anna I’m sorry.” Christa whispered embarrassed by the kiss she’d instigated
“You have no reason to be sorry.” Anna whispered. “Creating a blood bond brings us very closely together in mind and body.” She continued to hold her several more minutes then released her.
“Wow.” Christa said as she leaned back against the cushions. “I feel so weird but a good weird.”
Anna nodded, “That is normal.”
“Thank you for his.” Christa said reaching out to touch Anna’s cheek.
“Thank you.” Anna said in return. “Your trust means more to me than you will ever know.”