Christa seeks out Katherine.
While Anna understood the question the way he phrased it set her on edge, “She is a woman named Katherine.”
Gerard knew by her tone he’d offended her, “Hey, you know what I mean. I could tell she ain’t mortal.”
Anna sighed, “I suppose she is the closest thing to a friend I have from the Healer world. At one time I stayed with her for a few months. She is a Pure.”
“A Pure?” Gerard was surprised, “She didn’t seem like a Pure.”
Anna actually laughed, “Well she does if you compare her to Hudson. They are a lot alike in many ways.”
“I suppose that’s true.” He pulled Anna into her arms and hugged her, “So why’s she here? She’s working merch?”
“She was sent here by Hudson to protect us.” Anna admitted looking down.
Gerard could see she was unhappy, “But I thought you said she was kinda like a friend? Don’t you like her?”
“I do like her.” Anna explained, “It is just the fact that Hudson sent her here points out the danger you are in.”
“It’s time, Gee.” Mikey yelled.
Gerard nodded to his brother then turned back to Anna, “Hey, don’t worry. We’re gonna get this all figured out. Did you talk to Jacob about tonight?”
“Yes, I told him when we will arrive and there will be a car waiting for us at the airport.”
“Good.” Gerard nodded, “Okay let me get through this show and we’ll be on our way.” He released Anna and took a step back, “Stop worrying, Sugar. It’s all gonna be okay, I promise.”
Anna wished she could believe his words but more and more she was finding it harder to believe that could be the case.
Christa waited until the third from the last song of the concert to slip from her seat on the side stage. Nervously she walked out of the backstage area hoping what she was about to do was not the wrong thing.
Walking down the long hallway she tried to gather her thoughts. Would Anna be upset? Would seeking out Katherine without Anna’s permission seem wrong to the Pure? She shook her head sadly. There was just so much she didn’t understand and yet this terrible foreboding feeling drove her on.
As she reached the merch area she immediately spotted Katherine. It wasn’t difficult as the Pure was surrounded by men. Christa stood and watched a moment as Katherine charmed the men into buying whatever merchandise she suggested. It only took a few moments for Catherine to notice Christa.
“Okay guys I gotta go.” She smiled. “Maybe when MCR starts the second leg of their US tour I’ll see some of you again.”
The men nodded hopefully.
Katherine whispered something to one of the other merch girls then wandered over to where Christa stood. “Hey” She greeted her. “You wanna talk to me?”
Christa couldn’t help but grin, “You had quite a crowd of admirers.”
They began walking towards on of the doors that led out of the venue. Katherine waited until they were outside to light a cigarette and answer, “Yep and I’ll have you know that I used no glamor on them. Mortal men just seem to be naturally attracted to me.”
Her words slightly surprised Christa. It seemed to be very important to Katherine that she could attract men without the use of her powers. “Well I can understand why.” Christa answered honestly, “You’re gorgeous.”
Katherine smiled, “Thank you. I know this sounds vane but I do worry about my looks. Over the centuries I’ve tried my hardest to embrace the fashions of the day. God, were some of them brutal. Bustles? Oh shit I hated them.”
Once again Christa found herself warming to the woman’s personality. “I can imagine.”
“Oh and corsets?” She paused a moment, “Okay maybe those weren’t all bad. I sill like to wear leather corsets from time to time.”
Christa could only imagine how much the sight of Katherine’s large breasts and small waist would look in that.
“So what’s up?” Katherine asked taking a drag off her cigarette. “I can tell by your body language you’re unsure you should be talking to me. Let me guess Anna doesn’t know you’ve sought me out.”
Christa’s eyes dropped.
“So I’m right.” She nodded to several chairs and once they were seated in the semidarkness she spoke again, “It’s all right. Hudson told me you are…different.”
“He did?” Christa asked wondering just how much Katherine knew. She was sure she should not admit that Anna did not control her thoughts as a good Healer would do.
Katherine nodded, “Yes, he said he sensed it about you.” She looked closely at Christa, “I’m just wondering how different you really are.”
Suddenly Christa was nervous again. “I’m just a normal woman.” She said softly.
Taking another drag off her cigarette Katherine said in a low voice, “Look at me.”
Still Christa kept her eyes down.
Katherine laughed, “I’m not gonna glamor you. I just hate it when people don’t look at me when I talk.”
Slowly Christa met her gaze.
“There.” Katherine smiled, “That’s better. Now tell me what you want to ask me.”
“How do you know I want to ask you something?” Christa asked slowly. “Maybe I just wanted to talk.”
Again Katherine laughed, “Yeah, sure. You definitely came to me for a reason. I’m guessing it’s out of concern for Anna.”
Christa nodded then spoke slowly choosing her words carefully, “I am concerned about her and Gerard. I know they are going to Vermont to Jacob but yet…” she paused “I was just wondering if I could maybe have your phone number?”
Katherine sat back and crossed her long legs, “My phone number?”
“Yes, so that if for some reason I need to speak to you I can.”
“You feel that something is going to happen to them, don’t you?”
Tears sprang to Christa’s eyes, “I really hope I’m wrong.” She whispered.
“Oh hell, don’t cry.” Katherine said shaking her head, “Mortals always freak me out when they do that.”
Christa swiped her eyes, “I’m sorry.”
Katherine tossed away her cigarette but then looked closely at Christa, “This feeling could of course just be because you are deeply blood bound to Anna.”
“I know.” Christa said sadly, “But I really think it’s something more.”
“Interesting.” Katherine said studying the other woman, “I can give you my cell number. During the break I’m gonna be hanging out in New York. But I want a favor in return.”
Katherine looked directly into her eyes, “Yes, I want to taste your blood.”
Christa’s eyes grew wide, “What?” Her body involuntarily moved back.
“Chill.” Katherine said seeing the fear in Christa’s eyes. “I’m not gonna bond with you. Believe me Hudson made his wishes clear about that. I just want to taste one drop.”
“I don’t think I’m supposed to let you do that.” Christa whispered nervously.
“Well you can go ask Anna if you want but the concerts about over and I know she and Gerard are gonna take off very soon for the airport. You can wait around and see if you can grab a minute alone with her but I’ll be leaving soon too.”
Christa felt trapped.
Katherine took another cigarette out from the pack and sighed, “I really thought you trusted me.”
“It’s not that I don’t trust you.” Christa tried to explain, “It’s just I’m not sure I should without Anna’s permission.”
“I understand you are new to the Healer world so I can understand your reluctance to agree but I promise you I’m not asking for anything that would upset Anna. Like I said there will be no exchange of blood. I just want to taste one drop.”
Katherine smiled, “Because there is something very different about you and I’m curious.”
Glancing around Christa saw that no one was paying any attention to them. “And then you’ll give me your number?”
Taking a deep drag Katherine moved slightly closer to Christa, “There is something I need to tell you. The idea of you making a deal with a Pure, while cute, is a big no-no.”
“Oh shit.” Christa’s face fell.
“Hey, don’t get upset. I’m only telling you this so you understand and never try it with another Pure. Like I said I’m really pretty laid back and mellow but I’m not the norm for a Pure.” She exhaled a long stream of smoke, “And honestly I sorta like you. I don’t really like a lot of mortals but you’re different.”
Christa wasn’t sure how to feel about that.
“Take out your phone.” Katherine said softly. When Christa obliged she recited her number and waited while Christa programmed it in.
‘Thank you.” Christa said closing her phone.
“Hell you can call me even if it’s just to chat.’ She laughed, “Not that I chat a lot with humans but what the hell.”
“So.” Christa said slowly.
“So now you can either honor my request or not.” Katherine said with a shrug. “You’ve already got the number.”
“I have a choice?” Christa’s voice shook slightly.
“Yeah.” Katherine nodded, “You do.”
For a moment Christa considered her options. While she still wasn’t sure she should let Katherine taste her blood it seemed that not doing so would make it appear she didn’t trust the Pure.
“How?” Christa asked softly.
A smile lit Katherine’s face. “Just give me your hand.”
Slowly Christa extended her arm. Katherine took her hand and held it to her mouth. In the blink of an eye her fangs extended and with one incisor she pierced the skin of Christa’s ring finger. As soon as the blood drop appeared her tongue whisked it away.
Dropping Christa’s hand she sat back and closed her eyes. “Wow.” She muttered.
“Wow?” Christa repeated watching the Pure closely.
Opening her eyes Katherine smiled, “You are different, I was right.”
“Anna has never said my blood was different from anyone else’s blood.”
Katherine thought a moment, “Christa you must remember Anna is a very young Healer and she is not a Pure.”
“Is something wrong with it?” Christa asked with a frown.
Standing up Katherine took a step back, “Nothing for you to worry about. Give me a call whenever.” With that she walked off leaving a very confused Christa staring at her as she disappeared from sight.
Anna was packing the last of her clothes waiting for Gerard. As she placed a hoodie in her bag Claire arrived with Bob in tow. It has been decided that the couple would drive the RV to Bob’s house in Chicago and leave it there.
“Gerard was just getting dressed.” Bob said to Anna, “He should be here any minute.”
Anna nodded, “Good, I already had his bag put into the shuttle. We need to be leaving soon.”
Claire moved to Anna and hugged her tightly, “Have a safe trip. Give Jacob my love.” While she had never been close to Jacob she still had a great respect for the man and for his love for Anna.
“I will.” Anna said hugging her back, “And you and Bob have a safe trip.”
“We will.” Bob answered, “We’re just gonna take it slow, maybe make some stops on the way.”
Happily Claire nodded, “Yes, we should get to Bob’s within a few days.”
Bob laughed, “Bob’s? Hun, we’re headed towards our home.”
As nervous as Claire still felt being parted from Anna she forced herself to laugh, “Oh yes, it is my house now too. There are so many changes to make.” She teased.
“Changes?” Bob asked, “I thought you liked the house?”
“I liked your house but now it is our home.” She said moving into his arms.
“Well then change anything you want.” Bob said before dropping a kiss on the top of her head, “And uh guess we’ll have to start thinking about a nursery.”
The thought brought an overwhelming feeling of happiness to Claire, “Oh yes.”
Anna watched the couple trying not to let her own feelings overshadow the happiness she felt for them. “I am going to put this on the shuttle.” She said lifting her bag.
“Here let me.” Bob quickly took it from her hand. He knew that Anna and Claire needed time to say goodbye in private.
“Thank you.” Anna impulsively kissed his cheek. “Take care of her.” She whispered looking into his eyes.
“Always.” He nodded.
Once he left the RV Anna turned to Claire. “Please try not to worry. I am sure Gee and I will be fine.”
Claire sat down heavily, “I just can not believe how much things have changed and so quickly.”
Anna sat down beside her, “Yes, our lives have definitely changed. I am so happy that you now have a life of your own.”
“I had a life.” Claire said softly.
“No, you lived in my shadow. Now you have a life and one I am sure will be filled with much happiness. Do not let anything spoil that happiness.”
Tears sprang to Claire’s eyes. “I still can not help but feel I have deserted you.”
“Claire, you know no matter what happens the bond, the love, we share for each other will never fade.”
Claire grabbed her hand and held it tightly, “Please just promise me that you will never completely leave my life. Even with you must disappear from our lives please find a way to keep in touch. I love you Anna I can not bear the thought of you one day leaving and I would never see or hear from you again.”
Anna reached out with her other hand and stroked Claire’s cheek, “I will always watch over you, you must know that.” She heard the sound of someone approaching the RV, “Now dry your tears and smile. At this moment in time our lives are just what we want.” Even as she said the words the lie hurt. Her life with Gerard was not all she had dreamed. He was in danger and it was her fault.
Claire saw the truth in her eyes, “It will be okay, Anna. Jacob will discover who is behind this, he will protect both of you.”
“If I was a normal mortal that would not be necessary.” Anna said softly.
“I love who you are.” Gerard’s voice startled both women. He took a step further into the RV, “Ready, Sugar?”
“I am ready.” Anna answered. She gave one final hug to Claire then stood. Gerard smiled and took her hand.
“I love you.” He whispered as they walked off the RV. He knew Anna needed to hear those words.