Hudson's warning came just in time.
“Hey, where did Anna go?” He asked Claire who was preparing to leave her seat.
“I am not sure.” Claire answered, “I do know she had a call from her editor right before the start of the show.”
“But she left and came back.” Gerard said while his eyes searched the backstage area.
Claire nodded, “Yes but the second time she left Christa followed her. My guess it that they are together.”
Gerard nodded then turned to head toward the lounge.
Claire saw Bob approaching, “Hey, feeling better?” He asked wrapping his arms around her.
“Much better now.” She said snuggling up to him mindless of the fact he was drenched in sweat.
Alicia giggled, “Ewweee, she must love ya Bob. I sure as fuck wouldn’t hug Mikey right when he comes off stage.”
“Oh yeah.” Mikey said having heard the remark. He grabbed Alicia and pulled her into his embrace. She giggled and swatted at him but returned his hug.
By this time Ray had appeared, “So where’s Christa?” He asked.
Jamia laughed, “Damn you men keep losing track of your women. I think she’s backstage with Anna.”
Gerard knew as soon as he walked in that something was wrong even though Anna looked up and smiled. He sat down next to her, “What’s wrong, Sugar?”
“Nothing is wrong.” She lied. “I just had to handle a few revisions.”
“And it took the whole concert to do that?” He asked looking directly into her eyes.
Christa spoke up, “We were just sitting here talking.”
Gerard narrowed his eyes, “Yeah, well what about?”
“Not now, Gee.” Anna said softly touching his arm. “I will tell you later.”
Ray joined them, “Hey, we gotta get changed and over to the Meet and Greet.” Tonight the Meet and Greet was being held after the concert because of scheduling conflicts.
“I gotta shower first, I reek.” Gerard said.
Ray laughed, “You always reek. Hurry up and shower we got twenty minutes.”
Gerard rolled his eyes, “You know you don’t exactly smell like fuckin’ roses, Toro.”
“Better than you.” Ray retorted.
Gerard turned to Anna, “I forgot my clothes. Can you run to the RV and grab me a pair of jeans, a tee and my leather jacket? I’ll hit the showers.”
Anna nodded, “Any particular tee?”
“Nope, just dress me nice.” He kidded while standing.
Claire arrived just as he and Ray walked away.
“I have to go grab some clothes for Gee.” She explained.
“I will accompany you.” Claire said, “Some fresh air sounds lovely.” She gave Bob a quick kiss then followed Anna out of the venue.
Once they were walking towards the RV Anna turned to Claire, “Are you feeling well?”
“Yes but it was stuffy in there.” Claire answered then lowering her voice she asked, “So now tell me the truth about what is going on.”
Anna sighed, “Nothing for you to be concerned about.”
The hurt in Claire’s voice was apparent, “Anna, I will never stop caring about you. It hurts to believe you think I would.”
“I know you do.” Anna said softly, “But I do not want you to worry needlessly.”
“Let me decide if it is needless or not.” Claire said slowing her steps.
As they continued on Anna explained about the phone call from Hudson. As she expected Claire was very upset.
“Anna perhaps you should seek out Jacob’s advice on this.”
Anna opened the door to the RV then stepped aside to let Claire enter first, “I do not want to involve him at this time.”
“But do you not worry he will be upset when he finds out that Hudson is aware of a situation you have not shared with him?”
“Do you believe Hudson will tell him?” Anna asked as she made her way over to Gerard’s duffle bag and started gathering his clothes.
“I believe they talk much more than you realize.” Claire said softly, “especially about matters that involve you.”
Grabbing out a tee shirt Anna’s anger surfaced, “I just wish everyone would leave Gee and I alone.”
Claire understood, “I know you do and I am sorry it can not be that way.”
“No, it can not be that way as long as I am with him.”
“Anna.” Claire said, ‘Please do not tell me you are reconsidering your decision to be with him, not now. You have come to far to give up.”
“But is it fair to him?”
‘He loves you.” Claire said softly, “You know that is true and you love him. Do not forget that ever.”
Anna shook her head, “Of course I can never forget the love we share. I just wish with all my heart it could be a normal love but it can never be because I am not normal.”
Claire hated to hear her talk like this, “It will be okay, Anna.”
Instead of answering Anna simply shook her head then headed off the bus.
The band prepared for the Meet and Greet while Alicia, Jamia and Claire headed back towards the bus. Claire was especially tired and decided to relax with the others while waiting for Bob to finish.
Anna and Christa decided to watch the signing both knowing that they shared an ulterior motive, keeping an eye on Gerard.
As they walked across the lot to the smaller building where the Meet and Greet had been set up Anna suddenly came to a standstill.
“What’s wrong?” Christa asked noticing that Anna was staring at several women who had just exited the building. She recognized at least one of them from catering.
Instead of answering Anna quickened her steps moving towards the group. Her attention was on a tall blond. Christa hurried to keep up with her and noticed immediately that the blond suddenly looked very nervous as Anna approached. She also realized the woman, like herself, was blood bound.
“I would like a word with you.” Anna said staring directly at the woman. The other two young girls stood watching the exchange in curiosity. They knew who Anna was and wondered why she wanted to talk to their new friend.
The tall blond smiled nervously, “Catch up with you guys in a minute.” She said. Once her companions moved away she smiled at Anna, “Yes?”
Anna turned to Christa, “Please check on Gee.”
Christa knew immediately by her tone something was wrong. “Sure.” She said before hurrying towards the entrance.
The blond smiled trying to cover her fear, “Hi, I’m Kelli and you’re Anna, right?”
Anna stared at her, “I have not seen you before.”
“I just joined the tour.” Kelli explained, “I’m working merch.”
The woman was much too nervous, a fact Anna had picked up on as soon as she’d seen her. “Let us stop playing games.” Anna said lowering her voice. “You know who I am now I want to know what you are doing here.”
Kelli looked around nervously.
“You are waiting for someone.’ Anna said
“Just a friend.” Kelli answered quickly. “And I told you what I’m doing here. I work in the merch booths.”
Before the woman could react Anna grabbed her arm and painfully squeezed her flesh causing Kelli to cry out in pain. “I do not have time for games.” Anna hissed. “Tell me the truth.”
Christa made her way inside the building and followed the narrow hallway to the large room that had been set up with a long table and chairs for the band. She passed several security workers she recognized who nodded to her as she passed. Fear made her hurry her steps but she was relieved as she stood at the entrance when she saw the guys had already taken their seats and the first fans were being allowed in another door. She watched a few minutes as the first girl in the line approached the table and smiled to Gerard. Nothing seemed to be out of place. He chatted with her a few moments then signed the paper she handed him. The girl thanked him then moved on to Bob who was seated next to Gerard.
Christa stood in the doorway with a frown on her face. Perhaps Anna had been wrong yet still she deep down she herself still felt a sense of foreboding.
Gerard smiled then complimented the artwork the young fan had set down before him. “Hey, rad picture.” He commented. “Are you in art school?”
The girl blushed, “I just started a few months ago.”
He nodded while unscrewing the cap of the bottled water. Taking a long drink he sat it back down then picked up his Sharpie to sign the paper she handed him.
Christa stood silently trying to decide if she should continue to watch the signing or go back outside to speak to Anna. She was about to turn when she noticed Gerard drop his pen. He laughed then quickly scooped it back up. Suddenly his face took on a completely different look and his hands unsteadily reached for the water bottle again.
Gerard blinked in confusion. Suddenly the room seemed to sway and the temperature seemed unbearably warm. He tried to stand to take off his jacket but fell back into his chair. Bob looked over at him with a shocked look on his face.
Christa realized something was terribly wrong and turned swiftly to go get Anna. She gasped loudly when she realized Anna was already standing behind her.
“I think something is wrong.” She sputtered. “He seemed fine a minute ago and then…” A look of fear covered her face, “Oh shit. He took a drink out of that bottle.”
Anna’s eyes were on Gerard, “It is laced with a drug.” She said, her voice trembling. “We must get him out of there, now.”
At the table Gerard was trying to concentrate on the conversation he was having with the fan standing before him but it seemed impossible. Suddenly the room swayed and he tried to stand again to remove his jacket. As before he lost his balance and fell back into his seat. “Shit.’ He muttered but then began laughing.
Bob looked over at him, “You okay, Man?”
Gerard gave him a sloppy grin, “Yeah, fuckin’ great.”
“They are gonna know he’s messed up.” Christa whispered, “Can’t we just tell them he’s been drugged?”
“It is not a human created drug.” Anna answered quickly. “If the water is tested it will not be detected.”
“Fuck, what do we do?”
Anna’s eyes were still on Gerard, her mind racing.
Suddenly Christa had an idea. “Get him to the RV as quickly as you can.” She said.
Anna tore her gaze away from Gerard, “How….” She watched Christa move down the hall a few steps and understood what the woman had planned.
The sound of the fire alarm pierced the air. Gerard dropped his Sharpie again and giggled as everyone around him stood and began to move. To him it all seemed to be happening in slow motion. The fans were being ushered quickly back out the door they had originally come through and the other band members were jumping up from their chairs. He felt his arm being roughly grabbed.
“Annabelle.” He giggled feeling confused as she began to propel his body towards the door in the direction the other band members had gone, “Where’s the fire?” He broke into laughter at his own words.
She didn’t slow down or speak. Once they hit the cool night air she moved even faster past groups of people talking towards the RV.
“What’s the rush, Sug?” He slurred. “I wanna see what’s goin’ on.”
Anna saw that the other women had come off the tour bus to see what the commotion was about. Claire spotted her first and rushed to her side.
“Please help me.” Anna whispered as Claire drew near, “He’s been drugged.”
Christa hurried to the RV and had the door open when Gerard and Anna arrived.
“Shit, you’re hurtin’ my arm.” Gerard whined. “Let go.”
She pushed him up the steps roughly.
“Fuck.” He screamed as he stumbled and hit the floor.
Claire shut the door and locked it. “Anna what happened?”
By this time Anna had lifted Gerard off the floor and carried him through the RV to the bedroom.
Gerard was giggling uncontrollably, “Fuck you’re a strong bitch.” He said right before she tossed him on to the bed.
Anna turned to Claire. “The drug used for us to feel intoxicated was put in his water bottle.” She explained quickly. “Christa pulled the fire alarm so I could get him out of there.”
“Oh my God.” Claire’s voice shook, “Humans minds can not…” She snapped her mouth shut.
“I must get it out of his system.” Anna said moving towards the bed.
“Anna if will effect you.”
Anna pulled Gerard up into a sitting position so that she could pull off his jacket. “Yes, once it does and he is healed make sure he goes back to talk to the others. We can not let his earlier actions which were beginning to look suspicious be noted.”
“Can you not just give him your blood?” Claire asked.
“I fear too much of it is in his system.” Anna answered sitting down on the bed next to him.
Claire’s mind was racing, “I will stay with you and send him back out. Bob will drive tonight so that Gerard can stay with you here.”
“I am sorry to put you in this position.” Anna said softly.
“What position?” Gerard said trying to focus on the women, “Hey my favorite position is with you on top.” He grabbed Anna and pulled her body down on his.
Christa had seen Claire walking with Anna and Gerard towards the RV so she stayed behind in hopes of smoothing over what had happened.
“Wonder what the fuck is going on?” Frank said. Beside him Jamia stood hugging her hoddie around her body to block out the cool night air.
Bob was scanning the group looking for Claire. Christa smiled, “She went back to the RV to wait for you. She probably fell asleep.”
Alicia nodded, “She was pretty tired.”
Ray looked over at Christa. “Did you see where Gerard went?” He knew he’d seen him leave the building with Anna but now as they all stood huddled together he was no where to be seen.
“He and Anna went over to the RV.” She answered. “Uh, I’m the one who pulled the fire alarm.”
“What?” Ray said in shock.
She nodded fearing the possibility of security camera she confessed, “Yeah, I was standing in the hallway with Anna and we both smelled smoke.”
Jake the tour manager joined the group. “Fire department is checking out the building but they think it was a false alarm. I know you guys are tired but most of the fans are still waiting. It’s your call if you wanna continue the sighing. As soon as the building has been cleared and they said we could go back in.”
Frank was the first to answer, “I’d hate to disappoint the fans.”
“Yeah.” Ray agreed. “I think we should finish the signing.”
Jake nodded, “Okay give us a few minutes to get it set back up and when it’s ready I’ll come and get you.”
“I’ll go get Gee.” Mikey announced.
“I’ll get him.” Christa said quickly. “Be right back.” She took off before Mikey could answer.
“Oh fuck, yeah.” Gerard moaned as Anna’s fangs sank into his neck. She lifted her arm she had already cut to his mouth and he began to greedily suck the blood.
Claire stood nearby watching them closely. She understood that once the drug hit Anna’s mind it would become difficult for her to control the situation.
Anna closed her eyes as the drug started to take effect. She tried diligently to keep her mind focused but it was quickly becoming harder to concentrate. The smell and taste of Gerard’s blood was intoxicating however she still knew she had to stay in control. It was vital that she allow him only to take a small amount of her blood before the drug completely invaded her body.
Claire kept her eyes on Gerard trying to gauge when enough of Anna’s blood had canceled the effects of the drug. She feared that Anna’s state of mind would make it impossible for her to know when to stop. After several minutes she placed her hand on Anna’s shoulder and whispered, “Anna, you must stop.”
It took every ounce of Anna’s dwindling willpower to pull her mouth away from his neck. She sat back and swayed. When Claire tried to pull Anna’s arm away from Gerard he refused to release it.
“Gee, you are hurting her.” Claire said loudly.
Gerard’s head shot up. “What?” He released her arm and Anna slipped off the bed and sank to the floor.
His mind still slightly fuzzy he blinked, “What the fuck is going on?”
Claire was kneeling down by Anna.
Gerard slid off the bed and knelt by them. “Anna.” He cried out.
“She is weak and drugged.” Claire explained quickly. “Help me get her on the bed.”
They carefully laid Anna down on the bed.
“What the fuck is going on?” Gerard asked again. “How did I get here?”
Claire knew she had to explain the situation quickly, “The water you drank was laced with the same drug you injected into Anna. I am not sure but it is my guess one of them pulled the fire alarm so they could get you out of the building before anyone noticed your actions.”
“My actions? What did I do?”
“I do not know.” Claire said stroking Anna’s hair gently. Christa was with Anna not me.
Gerard felt the blood that was still running down his neck. He lifted his hand to the wound, “She bit me.”
“To get enough of the drug out of your system so her blood could heal you.” She shook Anna gently, “Anna, open your eyes.” Claire was beginning to feel frantic.
Anna forced her eyes open. “Hello.” She smiled feeling the full effect of the drug. “Hey, Gee.”
Gerard bent down and kissed her lips then turned to Claire, “Is she okay?”
“She will be.” Claire answered, “But you must go now. It is important that the other see you are fine.” She turned back to Anna, “You must heal his wound.”
Anna nodded as Claire’s words slowly penetrated her mind. She sat up, pulled Gerard to her and licked his wound healing it immediately. She then released him and fell back on the bed.
“I don’t want to leave her.” Gerard said shaking his head.
“You have to.” Claire stressed, “Your actions earlier had started to bring attention to you. The other must see that you are fine.”
They both heard a knock on the door.
“I’ll see who it is.” Gerard said quickly getting off the bed. He unlocked the door and Christa brushed past him quickly, ‘You are okay now?”
Claire walked out of the bedroom, “Anna removed the drug from his body but now it is affecting her.”
“Shit.” Christa said moving towards Claire. “They are gonna continue the Meet and Greet in a few minutes.”
“Good.” Claire said, “Gee will go back over and they will see nothing is amiss.”
“Fuck, something is amiss.” Gerard said fighting back the fear he was feeling, “Anna’s messed up.”
“She will be fine in a few hours.” Claire said understanding his fear, “She and I discussed this and she was aware this would happen. She stressed to me how important it was that you make sure the others see you are fine. If anyone asks say that Anna is not feeling well.”
Christa nodded, “Make sure Bob knows you’re okay. He saw you stumble and fall back in your chair twice at the Meet and Greet.”
“Who the fuck did this?” Gerard asked.
“We do not know.” Claire answered.
“She might know something.” Christa said then quickly explained about the woman who Anna had questioned.
Gerard received a text telling him they were ready to start the signing again. “Shit, this is fucked up.” He said closing his phone. “I don’t wanna leave her.”
Claire moved closer to him, “You must. This is important, Gee. It is what Anna wants you to do. Christa and I will stay with her.”
He glanced back at the bedroom, “I’ll be back as soon as I can.” He said running his hand nervously through his hair.
“Make sure to tell Bob that Anna is feeling unwell.” Claire said as he prepared to leave. “He will drive the RV tonight so that you can watch over Anna.”
“Won’t he know something is going on?”
Claire shook her head, “As long as you keep her in the bedroom it will be fine.”
“Fuck this is insane.” Gerard muttered as he left the vehicle. He tried to calm his nerves but was finding it almost impossible.