A phone call to Jacob causes heartbreak for Anna.
“I was getting worried you wouldn’t make it over here before I have to go on stage.” He said as he pulled her into his arms.
Anna hugged him tightly, “I had to deal with an important issue.” She whispered.
Gerard took a step back and looked at her closely. He could see the tale tail signs, “You fed in front of Christa?”
Anna looked nervously around, “We will discuss this later.” Her tone made it clear she would not speak about it now.
He gave her a puzzled look. “Okay.” He said slowly. “So tell me how freaked out should I be that Hudson invited all of us to a party?”
Anna sighed, “I wish I could say I was surprised but unfortunately I am not. If his actions are like those I have dealt with in the past once he appears he will continue to so until he tires of us. You do not need to worry however, the fact that the rest of the band has been invited means the party will be nothing like the other night. He surrounds himself with humans and enjoys their company.”
Gerard shook his head, “They are all so stoked about the party but it’s hard for me to pretend. I just want the fucker to stay away.”
“I wish the same but unfortunately we have no choice.”
“Sugar, I’ve been thinking. Something Hudson said has been rattling around in my brain. He said that Jacob knew if he claimed you it would offer you more protection. Do you think Jacob has anything to do with Hudson showing up?”
Anna too had thought about this. “I am not sure. I need to speak to Jacob and yet I can not make myself do so.” She blinked rapidly fighting back tears, “I do not want to speak about what happened. I just wish to put it out of my mind.”
Gerard hugged her tightly. “It’s okay.” He whispered. “I understand.”
Anna’s voice was shaky, “I am sorry.”
“You have nothing to be sorry about. We did what we did so we can be together. That’s all you need to remember.”
All during the concert Christa tried to keep her eyes on the stage but they kept drifting over to Anna. She was feeling intensely drawn to her and was having trouble hiding the fact. Several times Anna glanced over and smiled in understanding.
Towards the end of the concert Anna made a decision. Gerard’s question earlier about Jacob’s involvement in things was on her mind. As much as she did not want to think about what had happened with Hudson she had to know if Jacob was involved. She whispered to Claire, who was seated beside her, that she was going back to the RV. She had to face this.
Once there she placed the call. Jacob answered on the third ring.
“Annabelle what a pleasant surprise.”
Anna gripped the phone tightly, “Is it a surprise, Jacob?”
He sighed, “I can hear in your voice you are upset.”
“Yes I am upset.” Anna said trying to control the anger suddenly washing over her. “Do you have anything to do with Marcus suddenly appearing?”
He had never lied to her and he was not going to start now. “Annabelle you know I will always do whatever I believe will protect you.”
“Damn it Jacob. You had not right to do this.”
His tone was stern, “You forget with whom you are speaking. I have every right to do what I believe is best for you. Ever since you started down this path I have worried. You have put yourself in jeopardy.”
“Gerard was not ready for this.” Anna said angrily.
“And left to you he never would have been ready. You can not simply live in his world Annabelle. You know that. He must learn to be a part of your world. It is as if you have a death wish. You deliberately go against our rules by granting free will to those bonded to you. First with Claire and now Gerard.”
“It is my decision to make.” Anna answered.
“Just as it is my decision as your Maker to do what I believe is best for you. For too many years you have isolated yourself from your own kind. This has not gone unnoticed. I fear I am to blame for situation because I have allowed you to be foolish for too long. I have great respect for Marcus. He is a strong, well respected Pure who as a favor to me will help you gain the respect that you have lost over time.”
Anna’s temper snapped, “Oh yes the respect I have lost. And how have I lost that respect? I have lost it by choosing not to follow the ways of our kind.”
“That is correct.”
“So you spoke to Marcus and he was only to happy to claim me.”
Jacob sighed, “Yes he knew what needed to be done.”
“Needed to be done.” Anna’s voice rose, “Do you have any idea how much I loathed what happened? He took me while Gerard was forced to watch.”
“I am sorry that bothers you.” Jacob said softly, “But that is our way. We have no shame about coupling.”
“You may not but I do.” Anna cried, “I am not like you.”
“No, you are not.” Jacob answered, “However you can not let that fact be known. You understand this, you always have. You push me, Annabelle. Many times over the years I have questioned my feelings for you. There is a part of me that knows I have turned my back on my own kind. Had I done what was expected of me I would have destroyed you when I realized the truth, he truth that you are not like us. Something happened when you were turned and I fear I am to blame.”
Anna felt shell-shocked, “You have entertained the idea of destroying me?”
“Of course Annabelle. I am a Pure.”
Anna closed her eyes feeling as if her world had suddenly gone out of control.
“This is hard for you to understand.” Jacob said softly.
“Hard for me to understand?” Anna’s voice rose. “Yes, you could say that. The man who I have thought of as a father tells me he has considered destroying me? Yes that is hard for me to understand.”
“Annabelle it is in my nature to think and act as a Pure. I can not change that fact. However I had hoped that you would understand my love for you is stronger than my natural instincts.”
Anna sat with her head bowed.
Jacob continued, “You must also understand that I have entertained the idea of reclaiming my control over you.”
“No.” Anna said vehemently. “I will not let you.”
Jacob’s voice was full of hurt. “That response tells me all I need to know. You have turned your back on me and in doing so turned your back on your own kind.”
“Jacob, please.” Anna whispered, “Do not force this. I can not lose him, not after I waited so long.”
“You have no concept of time yet. You are so young. The years you followed him are but brief moments to someone who has no end. But for him there will be an end and you Annabelle will go on. Why can you not understand this?”
It felt like her whole world was collapsing. “I love him.” She whispered through her tears. “That is the only thing I do understand.” With that she closed her phone and began to sob.
She was shocked when someone suddenly hugged her tightly.
“Anna, don’t cry.” Christa whispered stroking her hair. “Whatever is wrong it’ll be okay.”
Anna wished with all her heart she could believe the words. She continued to sob as Christa held her close.
Gerard knew something was wrong as soon as he came off the stage. He could simply feel it.
“Hey where’s Anna?” He asked Claire who was standing with Bob.
Claire glanced at Bob then answered in a way she knew Gerard would understand, “She went back to the RV to call her uncle.”
Gerard nodded then turned away. He practically pushed his way through the crowed backstage area knowing that Anna needed him.
He was shocked when he opened the door of the RV and saw Christa holding Anna as she continued to cry uncontrollably.
“What’s going on?” He asked Christa.
Christa shook her head, “I’m not sure. Something about the conversation she had with Jacob.”
Gerard squatted down, “Anna, Sugar what’s wrong?” He was careful not to say more in front of Christa. Trying to cover he asked, “Is he sick again?”
Christa realized what he was doing, “It’s okay. I know Jacob is her Maker.”
Shock registered on Gerard’s face. “What?”
“I know about Anna. It’s okay.”
He shook his head feeling panicked, “Anna, what the fuck is going on?”
Anna’s voice shook, “She knew too much.”
“So you told her everything?” He asked in disbelief.
Christa touched his arm to get his attention. “I begged her not to erase my memories. The only way she could do that was for us to have a blood bond. Now it’s safe for all of us.”
Gerard stood up and began to pace nervously, “What the fuck is going on? Safe? How the fuck is this safe?”
“Because now someone like Hudson won’t question my knowledge about Anna. She and I are bonded so of course I know about her.”
“This is fucking out of control.” Gerard said running his hand through his hair.
Anna began to cry harder.
“Gee I can sense things. When I first met Anna I knew there was something different about her. It was the same with Hudson. But you have to understand that me sensing that was dangerous. Now it’s okay. I’m bonded with Anna.”
Gerard didn’t know what to think. “Fuck I need to talk to Claire.” He muttered hoping she could shed some light on what was happening.
He pulled out his phone and sent her a text explaining he needed her to come to the RV alone. He just hoped she could figure a way to do that without bringing Bob into this.
Several minutes later Claire arrived. She walked in, took one look at Anna and knew the situation was serious. She started to go to Anna but Gerard stopped her.
“Did you know she was going to bond with Christa?”
Claire nodded, “Yes.”
“And you think this is okay?”
“Yes, having several bonded to them is not unusual. It was the only way if Christa was to retain her memories.”
“Well why the fuck did she need to do that?” Gerard asked angrily. He was frightened and it was beginning to show. Anna seemed on the verge of a breakdown.
His words upset Christa who looked up. “I needed my memories.” Now she began to cry. The blood bond sill very fresh made it impossible for her to imagine not knowing the truth about Anna.
“Oh fuck.” Gerard said looking at the crying women.
Claire took control of the situation. “Gerard I need to speak to Anna and you need to keep Bob occupied.”
“I don’t wanna leave now.” He said looking at Anna.
“Just let me have a little time to speak to her. I need to understand what happened when she talked to Jacob.”
“Do I have to leave?” Christa asked.
Claire smiled at her, “It is okay. I know how badly you want to stay with Anna but you need to be strong for her. Go and talk to Ray. This is important, Christa. You understand that nothing can seem out of the ordinary.”
Christa nodded slowly, “Yeah, I understand.”
“Good.” Claire said encouragingly.
She waited until Christa had dried her eyes and left to turn to Gerard. “Please find Bob and make sure he does not come here. I need to speak to Anna about what has happened.”
Gerard was staring at Anna. “I don’t wanna leave her.”
Claire touched his arm, “It will be all right.” She understood that his blood bond with Anna was very strong at the moment. “Trust me.”
“Well what do I tell him? We’re gonna pull out in about 30 minutes and then what?”
“Tell him Anna is upset. Tell him she had an argument with her uncle. I am sure that is not far from the truth. Just explain to him that Anna and I need some time alone.”
As soon as Gerard left Claire sat down next to Anna hoping to discover what had happened while at the same time trying to decide how to handle the situation. Anna was incredibly vulnerable and Claire had to be strong for her.
Twenty minutes later Claire met Gerard outside. The rest of the band members were on the bus preparing to leave.
“So?” He asked. “Do you know what happened?”
Claire sighed, “She and Jacob spoke and it upset her greatly. You need to understand that the bond between them is stronger that you can imagine.”
“I can understand.”
“No you can not.” Claire said softly. “He is her Maker. It is not like the bond you and Anna share. It is much deeper; it goes to her very core. It goes beyond what we mortals can comprehend. She believes she has deeply hurt him and that feeling is tearing her up inside. She believes that her words and actions have made him feel that she has forsaken him.”
“It is complicated but he did admit to her that as a Pure a part of him feels he did not act correctly when he discovered she was what they consider “turned wrong”
Gerard pulled out a cigarette and lit it with shaking fingers, “What the fuck is “turned wrong?”
“The fact that she retained some of her human qualities is considered wrong.”
“Okay I still don’t get it. What do you mean he didn’t act correctly?"
Claire looked down and whispered, “When one is turned wrong they are destroyed.”
Gerard exploded, “Destroyed? Are you fuckin’ telling me Jacob told her that he thinks he should have destroyed her?”
Claire looked around nervously hoping no one heard his outburst. “Gerard get control. Jacob was simply being honest with her. In her heart Anna knows that what he said is the truth but it was very hard for her to hear him say the words.”
“Well I’m sure it fuckin’ was.” He answered angrily. “What else did he say? What’s going on with her? It’s like she’s having a breakdown.”
“In a way she is. These last few days have driven her to the edge. She not only has human emotions that are fighting for control she has the strong drive of what she is trying to take over. Added to everything else the fact that she bonded with Christa a few hours ago only adds to her stress. I am frightened for her. If they saw her now they would realize the truth.”
“What are we gonna do?” Gerard asked feeling helpless. “What can we do?”
“She needs to regain her control but it will take time. As long as I’ve been with her this has only happened once before.”
Claire immediately wished she hadn’t spoken those words. “That is not important.”
“I think it is.” He said, ‘When?”
“The day she thought all hope was lost. The day you saw her but turned away.” Claire whispered.
Gerard’s shoulders slumped, “At PR. The day I saw her but turned to the woman I married.”
Gerard was filled with sadness, “What happened?”
“She just gave up.” Claire hated the memory. “We left the venue and returned to our hotel room. She said that nothing mattered anymore that she was done.”
“So what did you do?”
“I was afraid. I had never seen her break down before. I knew I had to do something to keep her uncontrolled emotions from taking over. I could not let her fall apart.”
“How did you keep that from happening?”
“I knew she needed time to regain her control. There is a substance that I injected her with that slowed down her thoughts and in turn made it so those thoughts could not cause her emotions to take over.”
“What kind of a substance?”
“Many of those who have been turned use it from time to time. It was created for them because they miss the ability they once had to feel intoxicated.”
“You wanna get her drunk?’ Gerard sputtered.
“They can not get drunk in the normal fashion. It is impossible for alcohol to affect them however some still crave the feeling they remember from their time as mortals. However it is a very controlled substance and many Healers want it banned.”
“When it is used it must be in a controlled environment. There is always the fear they may say or do something that will reveal their true nature. They lose their ability to stay in control of their thoughts. They say what they are thinking which of course in the presence of mortals could be very dangerous. That is why if we do this you must be prepared to control her and remember she is much stronger than you.”
“You think she’d physically try to overpower me?”
Claire shook her head, “No, I believe her love for you would prevent that however she may say things that could cause you to feel hurt or angry. That really is the greatest worry because you are still struggling with the fresh blood bond and your emotions are still very unstable.”
Gerard shook his head, “No, I can control them. I know how important this for her. I can do this if it will help her. But are you sure it will?”
“It did before.” Claire nodded, “By the next morning she was in control again. It numbed her mind long enough for the Healer blood to once again take over.”
“Okay so do you have the shit?”
Claire nodded, “She does not know it but yes I do. I will admit when this all began I was so frightened for her. My fear was that you would reject her and if that had happened she would have been devastated.”
Gerard shook his head, “I could never reject her. I love Anna with my whole heart and soul. I’ve told her and I’ll tell you. I will do anything I have to do to keep her safe. So how are we gonna do this?”
"I will travel on the bus with Bob leaving you and Anna alone. I suggest you and she stop somewhere and get a room. Do not tell her what you plan to do. She would fight the idea. As badly as she feels she wants those emotions because they remind her of being human but they are dangerous for her. We can not let her break down because there is always the chance one of them will see her weakness.”
Gerard took another deep drag then tossed the cigarette away. “Okay, give me the shit and I’ll give it to her if you’re sure that’s what’s best.”
“I am sure. Just be prepared for how she will react. When you stop for the night tell her you are injecting her with her normal serum. You can add it to the injection.”
“How’s it gonna effect her?” He wanted to make sure he truly understood what was going to happen.
Claire sighed, “If you were unaware you would simply believe she was drunk. Her emotions will fluctuate. One minute she will be happy the next deeply sad.”
“And that’s good?”
“Yes, because it will keep her from concentrating too greatly on the thoughts that are tearing her apart. Right now a struggle is waging inside her. The mere fact that she believes she has hurt her Maker is overwhelming to her. What happened with Hudson is overwhelming her. The bond with Christa is…”
Gerard held up his head, “I understand. How quickly will it take effect?”
“She will realize immediately what you’ve done and I am sure she will be afraid. Talk to her and make her understand you’ve done it because you love her. Make sure she understands you did it to help her. It will slowly start to take over her mind. Just make sure you never leave her side and made sure she never doubts your love. And make sure not matter how badly you desire it do not drink her blood.”
“What would happen if I did?”
“If you ingested enough it could kill you.”
They could hear the engines start and knew it was time to leave.
“Show me where the stuff is.” Gerard said quickly.
“Hey.” Bob’s voice came out of the darkness. “Time to leave.”
Claire turned and quickly pasted a smile on her face. “Anna’s still upset. Gerard is going to drive so he and Anna have some time to talk alone.”
Bob wondered what was going on but nodded, “So we’re going on the bus?”
Claire nodded. “I will be right there.” She gave him a quick kiss the turned to board the RV.
Bob stood watching as Gerard followed her inside. He shook his head but shrugged then wandered back to the bus.
Anna was lying on the sofa with her eyes closed. Gerard leaned down and kissed her. She did not respond.
Claire returned from the bedroom and slipped the vial in his hand. “Take care of her.” She whispered.
“Sugar.” Gerard spoke softly once Claire was gone. “It’s all gonna be okay.”
Anna remained still. Her eyes were closed and she was not breathing.
Gerard kissed her once more than moved to the drivers seat. He realized that he was more than just worried about Anna he was terrified. He prayed what he was going to do would help her. He knew his love for her made it possible for him to do anything he could to help her.