A phone call to Jacob leaves Gerard worried and confused.
Claire turned to Gerard, “Hello.”
Keeping his voice down he spoke softly, “I really need to talk to you about Anna without her knowing.”
Claire glanced over and saw that Anna was watching them, “I would also like to speak to you.”
“I’m supposed to head over for the Meet and Greet in a few minutes. Since Mikey is already over there I’ll say I’m gonna go talk to him. Do you think you can get away and meet me backstage?”
“Yes.” Claire said softly. I just need to be back in time to wake my sleeping husband.” She said with a smile.
Bob was asleep in the RV trying to rest and fight off a cold.
Gerard nodded then waited a few minutes until Claire had moved back to her original spot. He walked to the sofa then spoke to Anna, “Hey I’m gonna go talk to Mikey. I’ll see you backstage after the Meet and Greet.”
Anna forced herself to smile and nod.
Claire waited a few minutes then announced she was going to the RV to wake Bob. As soon as she left the bus she hurried towards the venue. Gerard was waiting just inside the door.
“Okay,” He said nodding for Claire to follow him. Once they were seated in the backstage area she spoke, “I’m fuckin’ worred about Anna. This whole Cripple Creek trip ain’t a good idea. She won’t even discuss it with me.”
“She will not talk about it with me either.” Claire said with a frown.
“I don’t think she and I should go. Fuck, going there can’t be anything but painful for her. Why did she agree to do it?”
“Because she did not want to disappoint Alicia.” Claire answered, “And because I believe in her mind it is important to fit in with everyone else.”
Gerard pulled out a cigarette and lit it before speaking, “Damn it she worries about shit too much. I don’t care if she fits in.”
“But she does.” Claire said softly. “It is very important to her that she fits into your world. I believe she sees this trip as a way to do that.”
Gerard thought a moment, “I just wish she wouldn’t hide her feeling from me. I’ve been watching her closely and I know she’s upset.”
“But she is trying very hard to hide that fact.”
He nodded, “Yeah, I know.” He took a deep drag then decided to do something he’s been considering all day, “Hey, I need Jacob’s number. When I called him before I used Anna’s phone so I don’t have his number.”
Claire gave him a surprised look, “You wish to speak to Jacob about this?”
“Yeah, I think I should. I mean he was there with her in Cripple Creek when everything happened. I want to know what he thinks about Anna going back there.”
Claire frowned, “I do not think Anna would like you speaking to him about this.”
“Maybe that’s true but I really think I should.”
Still Claire hesitated, “If she finds out she may be angry and with her emotions as they are at this time that could be very bad.”
“I’ll take that chance.” Gerard said, “Besides unless Jacob would tell her she won’t know.”
“Anna has a way of finding things out.”
Gerard looked at her closely, “Are you afraid to give me the number cause if you are I’ll just figure out a way to get her phone and get the number that way.”
“I am not afraid of Anna.” Claire answered quickly, “I have never feared her. I just do not want to see her upset.”
“But she’s already upset.” Gerard said sadly.
“My marriage has not helped matters.” Claire whispered.
Gerard reached out and touched her arm gently, “Hey, that’s not true. Anna is happy for you.”
“Perhaps. But she and I have not spoken alone since I married. I have tried but she has made it impossible.” Tears sprung to her eyes, “I miss our closeness. She is distancing herself from me.”
“She is doing it for you Claire because she loves you. Anna knows you are starting a new life and I think she’s just trying to make that easier for you.”
Claire sniffed, “I hope that is true.”
He gave her arm another gentle squeeze. “It is. Now you better go wake that husband of yours and I’m gonna make the call while I have the chance.”
A moment later after she’d given him the number Claire headed out towards the RV.
Gerard walked further backstage and found a spot where he was hidden from view to make the call. He nervously lit another cigarette as the phone began to ring.
“Yes?” A deep voice answered cautiously. Jacob did not recognize the number calling his private cell.
“Jacob, it’s me Gerard.”
“Ah, Gerard.” Jacob relaxed, “How are you?”
“I’m okay but I’m calling to talk about Anna.”
Jacob walked into his study and closed the door. “Why is she upset?”
“You know she’s upset?”
Sitting down behind his desk Jacob smiled sadly, “Yes, of course I do, I can sense it. I have known for several days. I must admit I was hoping for a call explaining what is happening. I understand Annabelle is leading her life as she sees fit, still I worry.”
Gerard could hear the genuine concern in his voice, “Why didn’t you just call her?”
“Because I am trying not to interfere. I understand that she often resents it when she believes that is what I am doing.”
“Hey, you can always call me. I do understand how much you care about her.” Gerard said hearing the hurt in Jacob’s voice. It was obvious he felt that Anna was closing him out of her life at times.
“Thank you, Gerard. I just may take you up on that offer in the future. Now tell me what is happening at this time that has Annabelle so upset.”
Gerard sighed, “We are in Denver for a show and afterwards all of us are going to be doing some sightseeing together.”
Jacob interrupted him, “You are in Colorado?”
“Yes.” Gerard realized Jacob was already beginning to understand the problem, “One of the places we are stopping is Cripple Creek.”
“Oh, my.” Jacob said softly.
“Yeah.” Gerard took a deep drag off his cigarette. “My sister in law came up with the idea and Anna didn’t want to disappoint her. Of course Alicia has no idea that Cripple Creek is a place Anna doesn’t want to ever see again.”
“Are you sure?” Jacob asked softly.
“What, that Alicia doesn’t know?”
“No, that Annabelle does not ever want to visit there again.”
His words confused Gerard. “You think she wants to?”
Jacob sat back and thought a moment before speaking. “What has she told you about the place?”
“I know that’s where she met you for the first time.”
Jacob smiled, “Yes, over a hundred years ago and I do know for a fact she has never returned there since the day we left.”
“Fuck, over a hundred years.’ Gerard muttered. While he’d known that it was still difficult to actually grasp that fact. “She told me about the bastard who attacked her in that alley.”
“It must have been very difficult for her to tell you.” Jacob closed his eyes and for a moment could see the beautiful girl lying in the dirt as her life seeped from her body.
“She actually told me a slightly altered version of the story before I knew the truth about her.”
“Really?” Jacob was surprised, “I can only assume there was a reason she had to do so.”
Gerard decided he trusted Jacob enough to tell him the truth, “It was the first time we spent the night together. I mean noting intimate had happened between us but we both fell asleep and she had a nightmare about it. Shit, she tossed me off the bed and I hit a wall.”
“She is still having those nightmares?”
“Occasionally.” Gerard admitted, “Anyway, she told me that she’d awoke from the nightmare and my arm was over her body and it scared her. She thought I was holding her down.”
“Her nightmares are another indicator of being turned wrong.” Jacob said sadly, “I knew the first time she had one that she was not like she should be.”
Gerard tried to hold his temper but it was difficult, “You know I hate that it’s called ‘turned wrong’.”
“I understand, Gerard. I really understand how you feel as I feel the same way but that is just a stark fact. To our world she is wrong. We do not have nightmares.”
Gerard heard voices and glanced nervously around hoping Anna was still on the bus. “Look I don’t have a lot of time and she doesn’t know I’m talking to you.”
Jacob smiled to himself, “She will know.”
“Fuck.” Gerard took another puff, “She’ll probably be pissed.”
“Gerard you must remember something. It is hard for Annabelle to control her emotions because she is different. You must also remember that since she was turned at an early age many of the emotions she still deals with are those of a sixteen year old girl.”
“Oh shit.” Gerard muttered. This was something he hasn’t even considered.
“What has she said in private to you about this trip?” Jacob asked.
“That’s just it, she won’t talk to me about it. She’s just acting like its no big deal but I know this has to be fuckin’ brutal for her.”
Once again Jacob’s word surprised him, “Perhaps not all brutal. You must remember that while it is the town where her human life ended in a vicious attack it is also the place of her human birth. Memories of her family may be calling to her.”
Gerard suddenly felt badly that he hadn’t considered that. “But those memories will make her sad.”
“I believe those memories will be bittersweet for her. Still the love she had for her family is one she has never forgotten.”
More voices began to move into the backstage area forcing Gerard to remember he had to make this call short. “I wish I had more time to discuss this with you but I have to go soon.”
“Gerard, what else has Annabelle told you of her life in Cripple Creek?”
The question caught Gerard off guard. “Uh, not much really.”
Jacob had been afraid of that. “There is much she has kept from you. I believe this is her own way of blocking out memories. Just support her as much as you can. You are correct, this trip is sure to be difficult for her but I believe it is something she knows she must do. She will be going back to face her past and perhaps put it to rest once and for all.”
Gerard didn’t like the sound of that. “What don’t I know?”
“There is a period of time between the deaths of her family and when I found her that obviously she has not shared with you. It is not my place to tell you but if I am correct it will come to light. I believe it needs to come to light for her to move on.”
“Hey Gee there you are.” Frank said walking toward him.
“Uh, I gotta go.” Gerard said into the phone.
“I understand.” Jacob answered. “Thank you for calling.”
“Hey, no problem.” Gerard said with a smile, “Bottom line here is we both love her and just want to protect her.”
“Yes, that is true.” Jacob said softly. “Just remember that often we must protect her from herself.” With that he disconnected.
Gerard spotted Anna backstage talking to Christa after the Meet and Greet. When she looked up at him for a moment he could see confusion in her eyes, then he saw something else.
“Hey, Sugar.” He sat down and dropped a quick kiss on her lips.
Anna stared at him.
“See ya in a bit.” Christa said as she stood to walk away.
Anna was still staring at Gerard.
He smiled, “What?”
“Why did you call him?” Anna asked in a steely tone.
Gerard sighed, “How do you know?”
“I just do.” Anna answered, “Now tell me why did you speak to him?”
“Because I’m worried about you.” He tried to take her hand but she snatched it away.
“I am not a child, Gerard. I do not appreciate you acting as if I am.”
“Don’t be pissed at me. Jacob and I both love you and care about you.”
Anna glared at him, “What did he say?”
“Anna, you don’t have to pretend in front of me or Jacob. We both understand you feel deep emotions.”
She lowered her voice, “Yes, you and my Maker both understand that I am wrong. Thank you very much, I do get that.”
Gerard was shocked by her anger. “Sugar, calm down.”
“Do not tell me to calm down.” Her eyes flashed.
“Anna.” Gerard warned softly, “You need to stay in control.”
Anna blinked once forcing her anger under control. “I am going back to the bus to pack for the trip.”
“You’re not gonna stay for the show?”
“I do not wish to stay for the show.” She started to stand but his arm shot out to stop her.
“Anna, please don’t be mad at me. I’m just worried about you.”
She noticed Mikey and Alicia were watching them from across the room. “It is best that I go. I will see you after the show.”
He nodded sadly, “Yeah, okay. But can I have a kiss first?”
Some of her anger faded, “Gee you do not understand how difficult this is for me.”
“Sugar, I think I understand more than you know. But I promise it’ll be okay.” He leaned foreword and brushed his lips against her, “I promise.” he whispered.
“Hey” Alicia and Mikey had walked over. “Anna wanna help me get our stuff into the van. It just arrived a few minutes ago. I mean if you don’t wanna miss the show I understand.” She and Mikey has both witnessed that Gerard and Anna seemed to be arguing.
Anna forced herself to smile, “I would be happy to help you. I was just telling Gee that I needed to pack.” She stood and followed Alicia out of the backstage area.
Mikey sat down by his brother, “Hey Bro, you okay?”
Gerard gave him a puzzled look, “Why wouldn’t I be?”
“Uh well a couple of reasons. Looks like you and Anna were having a fight and..."
Mikey looked down, “Uh, well we are in Denver.”
Gerard was shocked to realize he hadn’t even giving it a passing thought that he was in the town we’re he’d married. “That doesn’t matter to me.” He answered honestly. He was so in love with Anna and so worried about her that nothing else mattered.
“So you and Anna, okay?” Mikey asked.
“It’s kinda personal.” Gerard said softly.
“Oh okay” It was obvious Mikey was hurt that his brother wouldn’t confide in him.
Gerard heard the hurt in his voice, “She’s pissed I called her uncle.” He figured that part was mostly true.
While he hated that he had to lie he knew he could only tell part of the truth, “Well they are still sorta pissed at each other and I was trying to fix things between them.”
“Oh and Anna thinks you’re interfering?” Mikey guessed.
Gerard nodded, “Yeah.”
“So does her Uncle know you want to marry her?”
The question surprised Gerard, “Not sure if Anna has told him, really.”
Mikey sat back and sighed, “Does that bother you?”
“Not really. I’m gonna marry her, that I’m sure. Don’t know when but it’ll happen.”
“Woman can be strange creatures, can’t they?” Mikey mused, “Shit when Alicia thought up this trip I could see how excited she was about it. I’m glad everyone went along.”
“Cause you love her and what her to be happy.” Gerard smiled.
“I love her more than anything.” Mikey nodded happily, “But sometimes she wears me out with her ideas.”
Gerard laughed, “Know what you mean.”
“But this trip is gonna be great,” Mikey said standing when he heard the band being called to the stage.
Gerard forced himself to agree, “Yeah, it’s gonna be great.” Still in his mind something that Jacob had said was bothering him. What had happened in Anna’s life between the time her family members died and Jacob had found her?