Someone new appears on the scene.
“Hello.” The woman said with a smile, “I’m Katherine.”
Immediately Christa knew she wasn’t mortal, “Uh, hi. I’m Christa.”
“Yes, I know.” Katherine answered, “May I have a seat?”
“Sure.” Christa closed the book after making her page then looked up nervously. She didn’t get a bad vibe off the woman but with everything that had been happening lately she knew she must be careful.
Katherine sat down at the small table, “So you belong to Anna.”
Suddenly Christa wished she’d gone over to the venue with Anna to watch the sound check. She stared at the woman but remained silent.
“Very good.” Katherine said with a laugh, “You know not to answer the question.” She took out a cigarette then lit it before adding, “I was sent here by Hudson to keep an eye on Anna and Gerard.”
While Christa felt she was telling the truth she still sat silently.
Again Katherine laughed, the sound was almost musical. “Don’t worry I’m not upset you don’t believe me. Hudson clued me in on what’s been happening and you’re right not to trust anyone.”
Christa smiled, “So I see you have backstage access.” She said nodding to the woman’s laminated pass she was wearing on a string around her neck.
Katherine lifted the pass and laughed, “Yeah, well I have to fit in, you know. Even though this is the last US date for a while I’ll be going to Europe selling merch. Actually I was glad when Hudson asked me to do this, I love traveling with rock bands.”
“Hudson asked you?” Christa said slowly narrowing her eyes.
Katherine threw her head back and laughed, “Oh, my, you are good. Hudson mentioned you to me. He said you were special and now I see why.” She lowered her voice, “Yes, Hudson asked me. I am not blood bound to him I am a Pure.”
“A Pure?” Christa repeated shocked.
“Yep.” Katherine nodded, “Don’t worry about not being able to tell. It’s hard for newly bounds to tell the difference between blood bound humans, Healers and Pures. And actually I sorta take it as a compliment you didn’t realize I was a Pure. See I try very hard to..” She paused a moment then smiled, “Humanize myself.”
“You do a good job.” Christa said trying to remind herself not to warm too much to this woman until she spoke to Anna but she couldn’t deny the woman was likable.
“Thanks.” She took another puff of her cigarette. “So anyway, I hope we get to hang out while I’m traveling with the band. Gotta say I don’t have much in common with the other girls working the merch.” She grinned, “Of course that might be because I’m a lot older than them.”
“The merch girls on this tour are pretty young.” Christa agreed.
Katherine laughed, “Yeah, well when your over eight hundred years old most people you meet seem a lot younger.”
Christa’s eyes grew wide, “Oh.”
“You are fun.” Katherine laughed while standing, “So tell Anna I’m here and I’ll hopefully find a few minutes to talk to her before she and Gerard take off tonight for Vermont.”
“She’ll know who you are if I just say Katherine?” Christa asked.
“She’ll know who I am. Just describe me to her and tell her Hudson sent me.” With that she turned and walked away.
Christa quickly stood up, grabbed her book then walked towards the venue.
“So any idea how long you and Gee are gonna hang in Vermont?’ Alicia asked before popping a chip into her mouth. She and Anna were sitting with Jamia and Claire backstage waiting for the guys who were on stage doing the sound check.
“I am not sure.” Anna answered, “We are going to visit my uncle first but then I would like to show Gee my home.”
“Oh yeah, you have a house in Vermont. Aren’t you guys just gonna stay there?”
“My home is several hours away from Jacob’s.” Anna explained, “And knowing my uncle he will want us to stay with him for several days.”
“He’s gonna wanna check out Gee.” Alicia laughed, “See if he’s good enough for you to marry.”
Anna hated that Alicia and Mikey both thought that she and Gerard would be marrying. She tried to change the subject. “So what are you and Frank going to do during the break?” She asked Jamia.
“Gonna go home and relax.” Jamia said, “And get some work done so I don’t have to handle everything while he’s gone.”
“It sucks you aren’t gonna go to Europe.” Alicia said.
Jamia nodded, “Yeah but I’m hoping to make it there for at least a few weeks later in the tour.”
“Hey.” Christa said as she joined the woman and took a seat.
“Thought you were out soaking up sun and reading.” Alicia said in greeting.
“I was.” Christa smiled, “But I missed you guys.”
“Oh sure.” Jamia laughed. “Gotta say the only thing I’m not gonna miss being on tour is all this down time waiting for the guys.”
Suddenly Claire stood, “I think I will go get some fresh air.”
“You do look sorta green.” Alicia said looking at her closely, “You feelin’ okay?”
Claire smiled, “It is just a little stuffy in here. I will be back soon.”
Anna stood, “I will walk with you. I need to go back to the RV and call Jacob.”
“Claire, want me to keep you company?” Christa asked seeing this as an opportunity to speak to Anna.
“That would be nice.” Claire answered. She looked at the others, “Could you tell Bob I am outside when they are done?”
“Sure.” Alicia nodded. “But are you sure, you’re okay?”
Claire nodded, “Yes thanks.”
As soon as Anna, Claire and Christa walked out of the venue Christa spoke, “Anna I need to tell you something.”
“Yes, that is why I said I needed to make a phone call” She turned to Claire, “Are you feeling poorly?”
Claire laughed, “Do I look bad?”
“No.” Anna answered with a smile.
“I really just wanted to get some fresh air but it seems every time I say anything people think I am sick.”
“Well we all know you’ve been dealing with some morning sickness.” Christa said softly.
Claire nodded, “True but this morning I woke up and felt wonderful.”
“Good.” Anna smiled. She turned her attention back to Christa, “Now what do you need to tell me?”
Christa quickly told her about her meeting with Katherine.
“Katherine is here?” Anna said shocked.
“So she was telling me the truth? She’s really a Pure?”
Anna nodded, “Yes and what she said about being able to identify a Pure from those blood bound and Healers is true also. You did very well.” She wanted to make sure Christa understood she had handled the situation correctly.
“Is this the Katherine you told me about?” Claire asked Anna, “The one you stayed with briefly?”
“Yes, she is the Pure I lived with for several months during the 1950’s.”
“Wow.” Christa said shaking her head, “I’m sorry sometimes it’s just so hard for me to remember how long you’ve been around.”
Anna smiled, “Not as long as Katherine.”
Oh yeah she told me she’s over eight hundred years old.”
They had reached the same table where Christa and been sitting earlier and sat down.
“Do you resent Hudson sending her here?” Claire asked Anna.
Anna sighed, “I do not resent it but I am surprised she agreed to it.”
“She said she likes traveling with rock bands.” Christa said.
“Oh yes that is true.” Anna smiled, “She has always been attracted to musicians. I imagine she has been with Hudson. Still, like Hudson, she is a Pure so it is unusual she agreed to watch over us.”
“She really seemed nice.” Christa said softly trying to gauge Anna’s feelings about the Pure.
“She is.” Anna said slowly, “But always remember she is a Pure no matter how mortal she seems.”
“I understand.” Christa nodded. Suddenly she saw the woman in question walking towards them. “Oh here she comes.”
Anna twisted in her seat.
“Hello, Annabelle.” Katherine smiled as she grew near.
Anna stood and they hugged quickly.
“Join us.” Anna smiled.
Katherine sat down and turned to Claire, “So you’re Claire. I’ve heard a lot about you too.”
Claire smiled, “Was it good?”
Katherine laughed “Yep. Hudson told me you are very devoted to Anna but that you have a feisty temper.” Suddenly her smile faded, “You are with child?”
Claire shot a look at Anna.
“Yes, she is.” Anna interjected, “She is married to the drummer.”
Katherine looked over at Anna, “You allowed this?”
“Claire has been with me since she was a child. I granted her freedom years ago but she chose to stay with me.”
Claire sat nervously wondering how the Pure would take that news. Many Pures did not believe in ever granting permission for blood bound humans to make lives for themselves.
“So you chose to stay with Annabelle?”
Claire nodded, “Yes, I love her.”
Katherine nodded, “That you chose to stay with her until now shows that.”
“I am still with her.” Claire said softly.
“Yes but you are going to have a child so of course that changes things.”
Anna could see Claire was struggling with this conversation, “I have complete trust in Claire. She will be able to handle the situation.” She smiled, “Just as I have complete trust in Christa.”
Katherine turned her attention back to Anna, “It takes a strong Healer to allow those who are bonded to them to have their own lives.”
“I am a strong Healer.” Anna said looking her in the eye, “Do you doubt that?”
Taking out her cigarettes Katherine lit one before answering, “No, I always thought you were a strong Healer but not in the classic sense.”
Anna smiled “Classic sense?”
“Yeah.” Katherine brushed back her hair and laughed, “But then I’m not exactly a Pure in the classic sense either. Always thought most Pures are just too stuffy and boring.”
Anna laughed easing some of the nervousness both Claire and Christa felt.
“So you know I’ve still not met your Maker but I’ve heard a lot about him.” Katherine said grinning, “And I’ve heard he’s very handsome.”
“You’ve never met Jacob?” Claire asked clearly surprised.
“No, our paths have never crossed. Of course I know all about him. Have to say I’d like to meet the guy.”
Christa was sitting quietly wishing she felt secure enough to ask questions.
Anna could sense Christa was confused, “You are wondering why Katherine and I are so different?”
Christa blushed feeling as if she’d been caught, “Well sorta.” She answered softly.
Katherine grinned, “Oh can I answer this one?”
Anna smiled then nodded.
Taking another deep drag first Katherine sat back and got comfortable. “Well first off the biggest difference is, of course, I’m a Pure. You do understand what that means?”
Christa nodded, “Yes of course. You were born what you are.”
She blushed again with Catherine laughed, “It’s okay I’m really not testing you to see how good Anna’s done with her new blood bound. I know you are newly bound so don’t worry. Anyway, it might not seem fair but Pures are well..”
“More important.” Anna said dryly.
Katherine smiled, “Yeah, even though we’re both Healers, Pures are more important.”
Christa nodded but remained silent.
“So I guess you’re wondering why I seem so laid back while Anna is more reserved?”
“You do seem pretty laid back.” Christa said slowly.
This time it was Anna who answered, “Pures are allowed much more freedom than those who are turned.”
“Yeah, that kinda sucks, doesn’t it?” Katherine asked looking over at Anna.
“Yes, it does.” Anna answered softly.
Katherine studied her a moment, “You know Anna I have to say you have always been one of the most reserved Healers I’ve ever known. I think that must have a lot to do with Jacob.”
Anna most definitely did not want to discuss Jacob with Katherine. While she liked the Pure she felt she should never fully trust her.
“Hudson told me Jacob is extremely handsome but terribly boring.” Katherine said watching Anna’s face closely.
“He is not boring.” Anna answered trying to keep any emotion out of her voice.
Katherine laughed, “Oh Anna, come on. Stop that. You try too hard to hide your love for him and I don’t know why. He’s your Maker of course you love him.”
Anna suddenly wished this conversation would end, “Of course I do.”
“Yet you left him.” Katherine said slowly, “And now you are with Gerard.”
Anna struggled to decide how to handle this discussion.
“Because you love him.” Katherine said softly. Her words shocked Anna.
“They have a very deep bond.” Claire said suddenly speaking up, “She saved him from death.”
“Yes, Hudson told me.” Katherine nodded still watching Anna’s face. “So are you going to admit to me that you believe he is your soul mate?”
“Should I?’ Anna challenged.
Katherine surprised her by reaching out and touching her arm, “Yes, you should. While I know many Pures do not believe Healers can find their soul mates I’m not so sure. I think it would be a wonderful thing.” She sighed, “It just has never happened to me in eight hundred years so it’s kinda hard for me to understand.”
“Who told you that I believed him to be my soul mate?” Anna asked.
Anna had to know, “Does he believe it is true?”
Katherine shrugged, “Hard to tell. You know Hudson, he might believe in soul mates but knowing him he wouldn’t want to find his. He’s all about loving as many men and women as he can.” She grinned, “Oh and by the way he’s pretty taken with your Gerard.”
“Yes.” Anna said dryly, “I know.”
“Well he is pretty handsome.” Katherine said. She saw Anna’s eyes flash with anger, “Oh don’t worry. Hudson already warned me you don’t share.”
Anna spoke slowly trying to control her anger, “Yes but of course as a Pure you do not have to abide by my wishes.”
“No, of course I don’t but I do have to abide by Hudson’s wishes. He’s older than me.” She smiled, “Anna, even if Hudson hadn’t warned me I would not take from you what you love.”
“Thank you Katherine.” Anna said feeling her anger fade.
Katherine shrugged, “Hey it’s not like I can’t get any other man I wanted. I just never really care that much one way or the other. Mortal men are interesting but I grow bored easily.” Suddenly she turned to Christa, “So is there anything else you want to know about Pures? I mean if you got questions I’m obviously the one to ask.”
Christa looked at Anna for guidance.
Anna nodded slightly.
“I was just wondering about you being born a Pure. We’re your parents Pures?”
“It doesn’t work that way.” Katherine explained. Healers and Pures are not able to reproduce.”
“Oh” Christa whispered. “But then how?”
“Pures are born to mortal women.” She thought a minute, “I’ve always sorta thought the Supreme Being must have a wicked sense of humor to make it this way. Here we are superior to mortals yet they are who we are born to.”
“Do these women know?” Christa asked.
It was Anna who answered “It is a very sad situation. As soon as the Healer world learns a Pure has been born the baby it taken from the mother and raised among it’s own kind.”
“Is that sad?’ Katherine asked clearly very serious in her question.
“Well it would be to the mother.” Christa felt compelled to say.
“Oh yes, that love thing again.” Katherine nodded, “You have to understand I have no idea what that kind of love feels like.”
“Because you have never turned anyone.” Anna said softly.
“True.” Katherine agreed, “If I had I suppose I would feel the love a Maker feels for their child.”
“Why haven’t you ever turned anyone?” Christa asked hoping her question wasn’t out of line.
Katherine tossed her cigarette away then quickly lit another, “I just never felt compelled to do it. I mean now it’s a big deal, you have to get consent of the council and all but back when I was young I suppose I could have, just never did.”
Christa still had more questions, “So the baby is taken from its mother and raised by Pures?”
“Or well established Healers.” Katherine put in.
“Okay, but what then?”
“Oh, you mean how does the baby age? Pures age until they reach twenty-five and then we just stop.”
“Wow.” Christa sat back and shook her head.
“Yeah, must seem pretty weird to you.”
“So are there many Pure births?”
Katherine looked over at Anna, “I think the last one was about seventy years ago.” She shrugged, “It’s not like there needs to be a bunch of us.”
While Anna didn’t mind Christa asking about the world of the Healers there was something on her mind. “Katherine why did Hudson send you here?”
Katherine turned her attention back to Anna, “I’ve explained that to Christa. He is concerned about what has happened and rightly so. I couldn’t believe what happened to Gerard. Whoever ordered that done has no respect for our laws and obviously no fear of death.” She looked over at Christa and Claire and added for their understanding, “When it is learned who did this they will be dealt with and I really can’t see the punishment being anything short of termination.”
“Does Hudson believe I can not control this situation?” Anna asked softly.
Katherine understood her concern, “It’s not that he doesn’t believe you to be a strong Healer but obviously we are dealing with a very disturbed individual and like I said Hudson is pretty fond of both you and Gerard. Sending me was just his way of protecting what is his.”
“Anna” Gerard’s voice put an end to the discussion. They all looked up to see Gerard and Bob nearing their table.
“Hey” Bob said reaching out to help Claire stand, “Feeling okay?”
She smiled, “I am fine.”
Gerard was staring at Katherine. Like Christa he realized she was not mortal.
“This is Katherine.” Anna said introducing her to the men.
“Hello.” Gerard said cautiously.
“Well I better get to work.” Katherine said standing.
“Hey we gotta get back inside of the Meet and Greet.” Gerard explained.
“Yeah but I had to check on my girl.” Bob said dropping a quick kiss on Claire’s lips.
“Me too.” Gerard said pulling Anna out of her seat and into his arms.
“I will explain later.” Anna whispered into his ear knowing he was curious about Katherine.
He nodded hoping the appearance of this woman wasn’t going to turn out to be a bad thing.