Gerard pushes Anna for the truth.
She spun around, “No, Gerard. You tell me what you are thinking.” Her eyes flashed as the question was spoken.
He simply stared at her not sure where to begin.
Anna shook her head sadly, “That is what I thought.” She pushed past him and headed for her suitcase. He knew she was headed for the black bag.
“No.” he grabbed it from her hand before she could react. “I want you to lose control.”
“No, you really do not want that to happen.” Anna said. There was a definite warning in her voice.
“Yeah Sugar, I do. I want you to tell me what happened. I want to see your emotions. I don’t want this to hold back your anger.”
She glared at him. “Why do you believe I feel anger about my past?”
“I can see the anger already. Are you angry because I found out the truth?” He challenged.
“The truth?” Anna’s voice rose, “You know nothing of the truth. Perhaps I am angry because I know what you are thinking. Your precious Anna has a sordid past. I was a Soiled Dove. That is what you believe.”
He threw the bag down on the bed, “That is you in the photo.”
“Yes, of course it is.”
For a moment he stared at her. When he spoke his voice was gently, “You look like a little lost girl. Why were you there?”
Anna’s hands were balled so tightly that she felt her fingernails bit into her skin, “Because I lived in that brothel.”
He shook his head, “But you weren’t a prostitute.”
Her anger erupted, “Is that what you want to believe or what you actually believe?”
“It is what I believe.” He said taking a step closer, “You told me that other than the man who raped you I was the only man you’d been with and I believe you wouldn’t lie to me.”
Anger still coursed through her veins. This was all so unfair. That photo should never have been taken, that past should have stayed buried. “But that’s not the truth now. You watched Hudson fuck me.”
Slowly he began to understand her anger, “Yeah, I watched it. More than once. Are you pissed at me because I watched? Are you pissed because I didn’t stop it?”
“No” she shook her head violently, “You could not have stopped it.”
“Because I am just a mortal, right?”
She started to move towards the bed but he grabbed her arm and spun her around to face him. “Stop it Anna. Just admit the truth. You are angry about that but I get you’re not angry at me, you are angry at yourself. You are angry Sugar but it’s not just about what you’ve become you’re angry at how your life was before you died.”
“It was not fair” She ground out. He saw her fangs extend.
“Life isn’t fair.” Gerard said roughly losing the battle to control his temper. He wanted to shake her. “You’re death wasn’t fair. Nothing is fair. Get over it.” He knew his words were pushing her. It was what he wanted. He wanted her to fight back. He wanted her to lose her control and let her emotions spill out.
Anna knew this too. “What you are doing is dangerous.” She bared her fangs.
“And that ain’t fair either.” He said looking directly into her topaz eyes. “But that’s just how it is for us.”
She tried to pull her arm away but his fingers tightened. “Be angry, Anna. Be pissed at what happened. Let it out.”
Fury filled her and she was beyond being able to control herself. She yanked her arm from his grip and before he could react she threw him to the floor momentarily knocking the wind from his lungs. She was on in before he could breathe again.
“Fuck you for doing this.” She said as she tore the shirt away from his throat. Roughly she tore at his clothes as he lay completely still. For a moment she began to slow down once he was nude. So he pushed her again.
“Show me what you are. Make me fuckin’ hate you. It’s what you want so you can convince yourself you’ve been right all along. That I’ll see the real you and hate you for it.”
She slapped him hard and he tasted blood.
The sight and smell of the blood blinded her again. She stood long enough to pull off her jeans and panties then fell on him again.
Gerard’s heart was racing. “Come on Anna. Show me the beast inside you. It’s what you think you are so fuckin’ just be the monster.”
Anna reached down and gripped his dick in her hands. She moaned at the hardness between her fingers. Without hesitation she pushed him deep inside her then went for his neck. Gerard closed his eyes and her fangs suck deep into his skin.
His blood sang through his veins. She pulled out her fangs then sank them deep into another spot on his neck this time tearing his skin.
Gerard cried out from the pain but the sound only urged her on. She drank more of his blood then pushed herself up so that she could ride his dick. With her eyes closed she threw back her head and rode him hard.
Blood loss had made Gerard dizzy. He tried to open his eyes but the sight of Anna only blurred. When she came she cried out then fell back on him. Again her fangs sank into his neck as she greedily drank.
He could feel his heart begin to slow. His voice was weak, “I love you, always.”
The words echoed in her brain piercing the red veil. She pulled her lips away and realized what she had done. “Oh God.”
Climbing off him she sat down and pulled his head onto her lap. She bit into her arm while blinking back tears. “Drink” She pleaded.
Gerard’s mouth opened slowly and she placed her arm again his lips.
“Drink” She cried fearing he was fading away. “Please.” Tears rolled down her cheeks.
He heard her voice but it sounded so far away.
“Please, Gee. I love you.”
Slowly he found the strength. As her blood touched his tongue he began to suck it down his throat.
Anna continued to sob brokenly until he had taken enough. Gently she pulled her arm away.
His eyes fluttered open.
“Why?” She sobbed, “Why did you do that?”
He smiled slightly still feeling woozy. “To make you realize once and for all that I do not fear you. I trust you with my life. Nothing about you can ever change my love. Not what you are or what you were.”
“Gee.” She said brokenly.
“I had to make you understand.” He muttered.
Anna gently pushed the hair from his eyes. “I almost killed you.”
“I knew you wouldn’t.” He closed his eyes again feeling his strength returning. “What you fear about yourself…it’s wrong. What you fear about me is wrong. I’m never gonna stop loving you, ever. There is nothing that could make that happen but I know it scares you.”
Anna looked into his eyes. “I…”
“You have to stop hating yourself.” He smiled, “You need to love the woman you’ve become because I sure as fuck love her.”
A small smile appeared on her face, “You are feeling stronger.”
“Much.” He grinned. ‘Now that we have all of that out of the way I want you to tell me about your past here in Colorado, all of it. But more importantly I want you to believe that it will not change the way I feel about you. I need to know you believe that.” He stressed.
Gently she moved his head from her lap then lay down beside him. He took her into his arms, “Tell me Anna. Tell me you believe.”
“I do believe.” She whispered.
Gerard slid his hands under her tee shirt and with one quick motion pulled it over her head. He then unclasped her bra and tossed it aside. She nestled her nude body against his.
Her voice was soft as she began to pour out her story.
“A few days after Clarissa died three men came out to the farm. One was a banker and with him he’d brought the sheriff. I was told that the bank would be taking over the property because papa hadn’t paid back the loan and there was no way I could repay it.”
“Who was the other man?” Gerard asked when she grew silent.
“He was the preacher from the church that had buried my family. Papa had never liked him and the only reason we had attended his church was because of mama. He said that because I was alone in the world he and his wife would do the right thing and take me in.”
“You had no other family?”
She sighed, “Mama had a sister back East but I had never met her. Papa never talked about his family but I had overheard a conversation once and knew the truth. His family had been upset when he had decided to move out West and they had hated his marriage to mama. They had disowned him.”
“So what happened?”
“The sheriff told me to pack a bag and take only my personal belonging.” Tears sprang to her eyes as memories of that day filled her mind, “They watched me. I wanted to take Mama’s gold hair combs but was told they would be sold to help pay off the debt.”
Gerard’s heart went out to the young girl she had been, “So you had to leave everything else?”
“Yes.” She whispered.
He caressed her arm gently waiting until she was ready to continue.
“The preacher took me to his home that night. He lived on a farm that was just outside town. When we got there his wife came out to greet us. She took me inside while he put up the horses.”
“Was she nice?”
“I believed she was.” Anna said slowly, “We had spoken at church many times and she had seemed very nice but quiet. As soon as we were in the house she called out for her children to come and meet me. There were five boys and three girls. The oldest boy was a few years older than me and the youngest was also a boy. He was about two.”
“God that’s a lot of kids.” Gerard said.
Anna sighed, “Families were often much larger back then. But many times children died at an early age. I knew for a fact they had just lost a baby a few months before and Mrs. Williams still looked very weak and unhealthy since the birth.”
“Were they good people?” Gerard asked softly.
Anna closed her eyes, “I can not say that his wife was not a good person but her spirit had been beaten down. I soon discovered the preacher was nothing like the good man people believed. That first night I got my first glimpse at his true nature.”
He braced himself for what he feared she was about to tell him.
“I was given a small room just off the kitchen. It was very small but I was happy that I could be alone. He told me to settle in then to come out to the living room for nightly prayers. I just wanted to close my eyes, I was so exhausted from everything that had happened but I did as I was told.” Anna paused a moment, “Nightly prayers went on for two hours while all of us kneeled as the preacher ranted on and on about how we must save ourselves for eternal damnation.”
“Yes and it was very difficult for the small children.” Anna whispered sadly. “At one point one of the little girls started to cry and said that her knees hurt.” Anna shook her head slowly. “Her father screamed that the pain was nothing like the fires of hell would feel like. I was so shocked; this was nothing like the religion mama taught us at home. Stupidly I suggested perhaps if we took a short break…he turned to me and told me I should learn to mind my tongue. That if I did not he would punish me just as he did his own children.”
A chill ran down Gerard’s spine, “How did he punish his children?”
“He beat them with a belt.’ Anna answered. “He beat them until they would bleed.”
“Oh fuck.” Gerard leaned up on his elbow, “Why didn’t anyone do anything?”
“Gee, you must remember this was a different time. No one questioned how parents saw fit to raise their children and the fact that he was a well respected preacher…”
“Anna did he beat you?’ Gerard asked softly.
“More than once.” Anna said softly. “Each time telling me he was doing it to save my soul. I grew to hate him but I had nowhere to go. I was alone in the world. So for three months I simply learned to keep my mouth shut. The only happiness I found was taking care of the little children. I was especially found of Sarah. She was four and I grew to love her. Ultimately though she was why I ran away.”
Anna let her mind return to that fateful night. “We were all gathered around the dinner table. I was sitting beside Sarah when suddenly one of the cats jumped up on the counter. The preacher flew into a rage. They only reason they had cats was because his wife liked them. He stood up from the table, grabbed the cat by the scruff of the neck and flung it down hard against the floor. His wife started to cry out but he turned and glared at her but Sarah started crying about the kitty being hurt. I tried to quiet her, tried to shield her from her fathers temper but she just kept crying. The preacher started yelling at her to be silent which only made her cry harder. I just could not help it, I had had enough. I told him she was only crying because she was tender hearted and she was only a child.”
Gerard shook his head, “What did he do?”
“He said that he had warned me about minding my tongue. He reminded me that I was only in his house because he was a man of God intent on doing the right thing for an orphan.” Anna shuddered, “The look in his eyes frightened me. I knew then he was without a doubt insane. No one would treat their children as he did. He went to get his belt and when he returned he told Sarah to stand up to accept her punishment. I do not know what happened but I lost control, I stood up and told him to leave her alone, she was just a little girl. His eyes narrowed and he asked me if I would like to take Sarah’s punishment for her. I was so scared I could not speak. He laughed at me then told Sarah to stand up. Gee, I looked into her face….I could not let him beat her.”
“You took her punishment?” Gerard guessed.
Anna nodded, “He took me out to the barn, stripped my dress off to the waist and beat my back with the belt until I passed out from the pain.”
“Son of a bitch.” Gerard spat.
“The next morning before everyone woke I snuck away. It was easy to become lost among the crowds in Cripple Creek. The town had grown so large by that time.”
“But where did you go?” He asked gently touching her cheek. “How did you survive?”
“I slept outside huddled in the corners of alleys.” Anna said softly. “I was so hungry…I begged for money to buy food.” She lowered her eyes in shame. “And I was so afraid. There were so many miners who would call out to me as I passed. Their language was so filthy, what they suggested made me feel dirty.”
“Oh Sugar.” Gerard said sadly, “I’m so fuckin sorry.”
Anna forced herself to continue, “I was in town a week before I met her.
“Who was she, Sugar?”
Anna smiled sadly, “Pearl de Vere. The famous Madam of Cripple Creek.”