Anna and Gerard arrive at Jacob's estate.
His eyes opened slowly and for a moment he felt disoriented. The concert had left him drained and it had been a struggle to stay awake on the flight. He hadn’t meant to fall asleep in the car on the way to Jacob’s but it had happened. “Shit.” He muttered sitting up straighter. “Sorry, I fell asleep.”
Anna brushed his cheek with her fingertip. “You are so tired. I wish you had allowed yourself to sleep on the plane.”
He hadn’t allowed that because he knew Anna was so nervous. As soon as they had boarded he’d noticed two men who he’d instinctively known weren’t mortals. Anna had nodded to him that he was correct and while she told him she did not know the men he knew she was upset by their presence.
Gazing out the window as the car made its way up the long circular drive Gerard blinked in surprise, “Holy shit this place is huge.” He said as the mansion came into view. Even at night the large home was lit in a way that made it look spectacular.
“It is impressive.” Anna smiled.
Gerard felt safe in speaking his mind since a glass partition separated them from the limo driver. “What exactly does Jacob do for a living?”
“In this life he dabbles in real estate.” Anna answered.
“Dabbles? He must be doing pretty well.”
As the car pulled to a stop in front of the massive stone steps Anna shrugged, “Gee, most Pures are very rich. Remember they are like the royalty of Healers. All their needs are taken care of.”
“So that Katherine I met is rich?” He asked turning to Anna.
Anna laughed, “Oh, very. More than you can imagine. However Katherine hides that fact. She likes to appear as a normal everyday human.”
Anna shrugged, “She is a very unusual woman. Someday I hope you get the chance to know her better. I must admit her showing up did concern me at first but since she was there on Hudson’s behalf I should not have worried.”
Suddenly the door was opened and Anna was helped out of the car. Gerard assumed it was the driver who had extended his hand to her but a moment later as he watched her swept into an embrace he knew he’d been wrong.
“Annabelle.” Jacob hugged her tightly. “I am so glad you have arrived.” He kissed her lips gently.
Anna was shocked by his display of affection. While she had never doubled Jacob’s love for her as his “child” he rarely showed that emotion.
He released her from the hug but settled his arm around her waist as they both watched Gerard slide from the limo.
“And Gerard.” Jacob’s voice was smooth, “Nice to finally meet you.”
Gerard stepped forward, “Jacob.” He said trying to control the emotion in his voice. “Thanks for inviting us.” He tried not to glare at the handsome man whose arm was still nestled around Anna’s waist.
“Our home is your home.” He said pulling Anna a bit closer. “Come let us go inside.”
Anna realized immediately what was happening. Both men we’re trying to stake their claims. She sighed and took a step out of Jacob’s embrace. “It is very late and Gerard is tired.”
Gerard frowned, “I’m fine.”
Jacob smiled revealing perfect white teeth, “Of course he is. How rude of me not to realize he needs his sleep. Please follow me. Your bags will be taken to your room shortly.”
As Gerard followed Anna and Jacob, who had once again put his arm around her, he realized Hudson had been right. Jacob was ridiculously handsome and while he knew this fact shouldn’t bother him, it did. He liked it better when he had believed Jacob was Anna’s elderly uncle.
They entered the huge entrance hall then stopped. An elderly woman appeared and Jacob spoke to her.
“Mrs. Ellis this is Gerard. He will be staying with us for a few days. Could you show him to his room?”
“Hello Gerard.” Constance Ellis greeted him warmly. “It is nice to meet you. Annabelle has spoken so highly of you.”
Gerard’s temper was rising. Why was Jacob making it sound like he was suddenly the guest of Anna and Jacob? His eyes sought Anna’s hoping she would understand he was trying very hard to remain calm.
Anna looked into Gerard’s eyes and smiled. Jacob’s attitude had surprised her but she knew it was time to take control of the situation. “I am tired also.” She turned to look at Jacob. “Gerard and I look foreword to speaking to you in the morning.”
A frown marred Jacob’s face. “I had hoped to speak with you now.” His tone made it clear he had more than hoped.
Anna leaned foreword and kissed his cheek, “I am sure you understand that we are tired. It has been a very long day for us.”
Jacob heard her thoughts and relented, “Of course. Until tomorrow.” He looked at Gerard, “We have much to discuss.”
“Yeah, we do.” Gerard nodded shortly.
With that Jacob turned and left them standing in the hallway.
“Well then.” Mrs. Ellis smiled, “This way.” She started up the huge marble staircase.
Gerard reached for Anna’s hand as they followed. She squeezed it gently and smiled.
Once they were shown to their room Gerard thanked the housekeeper then all but slammed the door shut. “Fuck, I’m surprised he didn’t have us put in separate bedrooms.”
Anna sighed, “Gee, please calm down.”
He swiveled around to face her, “Calm down? Fuck what was that all about?”
“What was what about?”
He took several steps towards the bed where Anna had sat down. “You know what I mean. He wanted to make sure I knew this wasn’t just his house, it’s yours too. Like I’m some fucking guest.”
“You are a guest.” Anna said softly. “And as my Maker any home Jacob owns is also mine.”
“Yeah well you know what I mean.” Gerard said clinching his fists. “I thought we we’re supposed to come here and he’d help us figure out who’s fucking with us.”
“That is why we are here.” Anna nodded.
“Yeah well so why do I suddenly have a bad feeling?”
Anna reached out and took his hand in hers, “Jealously?”
His anger flared but when he looked into her eyes his mouth snapped shut. For a moment he remained silent, “Yeah, okay that’s part of it.” He admitted.
“Gee I have told you, you have my heart. There is no reason to be jealous of Jacob, I thought you understood that.”
“Well that was before I saw him.”
Anna blinked in surprise then laughed, “Why would that matter?”
Gerard sighed, “The man is fuckin’ handsome. Shit, Hudson warned me but I just didn’t believe him.”
Anna shook her head, “Gee, honestly. If he was not handsome would it make a difference?”
He considered her words, “Maybe, hell I don’t know. And it’s not just his looks it’s the way he acts towards you.”
“He loves me.” Anna said softly, “Just as I love him. The bond between us, the Maker bond, is very strong. But it is nothing like the love I feel for you.”
Gerard closed his eyes, “Okay so I’m just being a jackass.”
“No, I understand.” Anna said, “And for the record Jacob rarely acts that affectionate towards me.”
“So why now?” Gerard asked opening his eyes.
“I believe he is also jealous of you.”
“Hey, I thought Pures don’t do that emotion thing.” Gerard said slowly.
“They feel some emotions, I have told you that. You must remember for as long as I’ve been a Healer the only man I have spent time with is Jacob. Now you have come along and claimed my heart.”
Gerard pulled her into his arms, “And you’ve claimed mine. I’m sorry for acting like this.”
“I understand.” Anna said before kissing him, “However there is something else you must know.”
He sat back, “Yeah?”
“I believe part of what happened is that Jacob was testing you.”
“Testing me? You mean to see if I act like a good blood bound human?” He tried to keep the contempt out of his voice but it was difficult.
“While he understands I am wrong, that I do not control those bound to me correctly he knows how important it is that I appear to do so.”
“Well shit.” Gerard muttered, “Did I fuck that up?”
“No, you did well.” Anna smiled, “You controlled your temper in front of him.”
“Wasn’t easy.” Gerard admitted, “Wanted to knock his arm off you.”
Anna laughed, “It is very wise you did not attempt that.” She moved closer to his body, “Now you must get some sleep.”
Holding her this close was making sleep sound like a poor choice. “Uh, I’m really not all that tried now.” His fingers stroked her arm.
Anna let her hand fall on to his lap. She pushed her fingertips across the bulge in his jeans, “Are you sure?”
With one swift movement he laid back on the bed pulling her body over his, “Yeah, Sugar, I’m sure.”
Gerard fell asleep minutes after he and Anna made love. She smiled remembering how cute he had looked trying to keep himself awake. She was touched he had wanted to hold her in his arms as the passion faded but sleep had quickly claimed him. Now as he softly snored she slipped from the bed, dressed, then went in search of Jacob who she knew was waiting.
Finding him was not difficult, as Anna had expected he was waiting in his study.
“I am pleased you are here.” Jacob said as she walked in closing the door behind her.
“Jacob.” Anna sighed, “You know I am happy to be here but what on earth was that display of affection earlier?” She knew but she wanted him to admit it.
Jacob leaned on the desk and laughed, “What? I told you I am pleased you are here.”
Anna took a seat in front of the deck and frowned, “You rarely show that much affection.”
“Just because I do not show it does not mean I do not feel it.” He answered growing serious.
“Yes, I know that.” Anna sighed, “But I somehow can not help but think if Gerard had not been at my side I would not have gotten the same reception.”
Once more he smiled, “I will admit watching him trying to control his temper was amusing.”
“Jacob please do not treat him like a pet.”
“But that’s what he is, Annabelle.” Jacob said softly.
She shook her head, “No, he is not. You know how I feel about him.”
“Yes, I am aware.” Jacob said reaching out for the glass sitting on the desk. “However I am also aware that your feelings for him have presented a very serious problem.”
“And that is why he and I are here.” Anna said leaning foreword, “We are here hoping you can help us.”
“I will always protect you. Annabelle. You are mine.” Jacob said looking directly into her eyes.
“And he is mine. My soul mate.” Anna said without blinking.
“He feels the same for you?”
“He does.” Anna confirmed. “He..” her voice trailed off.
Jacob’s eyes narrowed, “He what?”
Anna did not want to discuss this at the moment. “He loves me and I love him. I just wish for us to be able to be together without fear.”
Jacob decided to let the subject drop for the moment. “Yes, well unfortunately I have not been able to learn anything concerning the incident that happened. I have spoken to many of my contacts in the Healer world and have assured me they have no knowledge of anyone who would dare attempt to harm one of your own.”
“Well someone did.” Anna said angrily. “He could have been killed.”
Jacob settled back in the large leather chair gathering his thoughts. “But what would that have gained?” He saw Anna’s stricken look and continued quickly, “I understand how it would have upset you but…”
Her voice shook, “It would have devastated me.”
“Yes, I understand but the person who was behind this would not have known that. They would have assumed you would have been rightly angered that one you had blood bound to you had been murdered but not devastated.” He paused, “Unless you have foolishly let your true self be shown.”
Anna sighed, “No, I am careful as you have taught me. Other than Hudson you are the only of my kind who know the truth.”
“And at times I worry that it was not wise for him to know.”
“It was unavoidable.” Anna whispered sadly, “He saw the true love I have for Gerard in my eyes.”
“As a Pure it was his duty to reveal the truth..” Jacob said softly.
Anna understood this, “Yes, but just as you, he has not.”
“That fact makes me curious.” Jacob said letting his thoughts wonder, “How many Pures do not follow our codes.”
“You think there are others?” Anna asked in surprise.
Jacob shrugged, “I am not sure. Perhaps it is just Marcus” He paused then corrected himself, “I mean Hudson and myself. Perhaps because we are both so old we have grown tired of the rules.”
The sadness on his face brought tears to Anna’s eyes, “You speak as if you are tired of this life.”
“At times that is true. I grow weary of living in this human world. I am tired of making new lives only to leave them and move on. I wander this earth without purpose, without direction. Once Healers had a place in this world. We believed our gift to heal mortals was our purpose but that has changed, we have changed.”
“Jacob I have never heard you speak like this before.” Anna whispered.
He smiled sadly, “I am rambling like an old man.”
“You are rambling like a lonely, old man.” Anna said softly as she reached across the desk to touch his hand.
He closed his eyes a moment then said, “I have everything and yet I have nothing.”
“Oh Jacob.” Anna felt a tear roll down her cheek, “That is not true. You have me, you will always have my love.”
“Will I?” He asked staring into her eyes. “If you did not walk this earth I fear I would no longer feel any reason to continue on.”
His words shocked Anna, “Jacob, I do not know what to say.”
“There is nothing you can say, Annabelle dear. The only thing you can do for me is to promise to always be careful. You can not ever reveal your flaw.”
“My flaw.” Anna said softly, “You mean to say my fatal flaw for that is what it truly is. And I fear someone knows of your deep love for me and that is why Gerard has been targeted. They hope I will commit an act against the Healers laws.”
“Yes.” Jacob said softly, “That is of course the only reason that makes any sense. If he was just a normal human I would say for you to take him far away from this life and begin again somewhere new. However his notoriety makes that impossible.”
“Often I was wondered.” Anna said slowly, “How different our lives would be had I interacted with him sooner.”
“You mean before he started the band?” Jacob asked.
Anna nodded, “Yes, but I feel in my heart that would have been wrong. This life he now lives is what he wanted. It is selfish of me to think that way.”
Jacob smiled sadly “Perhaps selfish but understandable you wonder. Annabelle, while I want you to be happy I can only see sadness in the end. As a mortal he will age and you will be forced to leave his life. Yes, I understand you can reenter it at some point under the guise of another but ultimately he will die.”
Anna’s head was bowed, “Yes I know.”
“And yet you still choose to be with him knowing the pain to come?”
Slowly she raised her head, “You told me once the greatest gift we could ever have was to find our true love, our soul mate. I believed you Jacob and I have found that gift. I simply want to treasure that gift for the time I am allowed. Once he is gone my memories will remain strong.”
Jacob hated the words he now had to speak, “And what if I was wrong? What if finding your soul mate is a curse and not a gift?”
“His love is a gift.” Anna whispered. “Nothing can ever take that away.”
Gerard awoke knowing instantly that Anna was gone from the bed. In the darkness he went over the days events concentrating mostly on the meeting with Jacob. While it hadn’t gone as he’d hoped he knew in his heart he had to speak to the Pure alone. Anna was his soul mate, his life. Somehow, someway, he knew he could never lose her.