Gerard questions Jacob about the Healer world.
“Please.” Gerard answered as he pulled out a chair for Anna then took the seat next to her at the large mahogany dining table.
Anna smiled, “Thank you, Mrs. Ellis.”
“Now, Mr. Gerard.” The housekeeper said as she poured coffee from the large pot on the sideboard into two mugs, “What will you be having for breakfast this morning?”
Suddenly Gerard felt a bit strange eating. He had realized last night that Mrs. Ellis was not mortal. He’d meant to ask Anna about the housekeeper but had forgotten. He also knew she and Jacob really didn’t eat so he wondered if he was the only mortal in the house. “Uh, just coffee is fine.”
Mrs. Ellis placed her hands on her hips and sighed, “Now Mr. Gerard you can’t just get by on coffee.” She smiled warmly, “Back in the day I was the head cook in one of the finest restaurants in New York. I love to cook. You’re not gonna deny me this chance are you?”
Gerard glanced over at Anna for help. He was having trouble dealing with the fact that the woman insisting on making breakfast for him was telling him about her life before she had been turned. He definitely needed more coffee. He took a slow sip hoping Anna would say something.
“Gee, Mrs. Ellis really does enjoy cooking for Jacob’s mortal guests.” Anna said softly.
Gerard smiled, “Well eggs sound good.”
“Excellent choice.” Mrs. Ellis nodded. In the end she talked him into having eggs, bacon and toast. Once she was safely through the swinging door that led into the kitchen Gerard turned to Anna.
“Uh, so she’s a Healer, right?”
Anna nodded, “Yes. She has been with Jacob for several hundred years.”
Gerard, who had been taking a sip of coffee, began coughing. “Shit, sorry.” He muttered when he could finally speak.
“I know it is difficult for you at times.” Anna said softly.
He laughed, “Yeah, okay it is but damn when she said “back in the day” I didn’t realize just how back she meant.”
“She is a wonderful woman.” Anna smiled but lowered her voice, “Just remember she is a Healer. While she knows of my feelings for you she does not understand their depth. To her you are simply one I have blood bound to me.”
Gerard thought a moment, “So she really has no feelings for me one way or the other?”
Anna sighed, “I believe since she has been with Jacob she has learned to deal very well with mortals. You know Gee, just because Healers do not have any true emotions for mortals does not mean they are cold and distant.”
He heard the hurt in her voice, “I didn’t mean it to sound like I thought that.”
“I know.” Anna relented, “I suppose I am just on edge being here. I know that I must act the part of a true Healer and at times I worry how you will respond.”
“Hey Sugar, don’t worry.” He said touching her hand, “But I do need to ask you something. When we are alone with Jacob will you still act that way? And how am I supposed to act?”
Anna was about to answer when Mrs. Ellis bustled back in, “Mr. Gerard I forgot to ask how you want those eggs.”
“Over easy, please.” Gerard smiled.
She nodded then left the room once again.
“There is no reason to pretend if we are alone with Jacob.” Anna said softly. “But there are others in the house so we must be careful.”
Gerard nodded, “Yeah, okay.” He took another sip of coffee, “Uh, I’m sorta hoping to talk to Jacob alone at some point.”
Anna gave him a shocked look, “Why?”
“I just want to.” Gerard said slowly, “There are some things I want to discuss with him.”
“No.” Anna said nervously, “That is not a good idea.”
“And why not, Annabelle?” Jacob said moving towards the table.
Anna had been so distracted by Gerard’s comment that she hadn’t sensed Jacob’s arrival. She angrily drummed her fingers on the table. “He and I both need to speak with you.”
Gerard knew she was angry but he didn’t back down. Looking directly at Jacob he said, “I think it would be a good idea for us to talk.”
Jacob smiled as he sat down across the table, “Annabelle you have not answered the question. Why should Gerard not speak to me alone?”
Anna stared at Jacob trying to gather her thoughts. “I just do not see the point.”
While he’d been afraid she’s react this way he hadn’t realized she be angry. “Sugar, I just want to get to know Jacob better. He’s a very important part of your life so it’s important to me that I get to know him.”
Jacob sat watching the exchange between the two of them while trying not to smile. He knew the Healer blood that ran through Anna’s veins was difficult for her to handle at times. Right now he was sure she wanted to simply take control of the situation and deny Gerard’s request. However the human love she felt for the man was making that difficult.
Suddenly Anna glared across the table at Jacob, “Something is amusing?” She asked catching sight of the look on his face.
“Very.” Jacob nodded. Much to Anna’s chagrin he looked over at Gerard, “She is a bit testy this morning.”
Now it was Gerard’s turn to try to hide the smile that came to his face. He found himself liking Jacob much more this morning.
“I am not testy.” Anna said angrily.
Jacob grinned, “Well it certainly seems that way. I do not understand why you do not want your fiancée to speak with me alone.”
Gerard was shocked when color drained from Anna’s face. “Jacob do not joke about that.” She whispered.
“Annabelle I am not dense. He has let it be known you are his fiancée.” He sighed, “I know he is here not only for my help with the present situation but because he hopes to enlist my aid in getting approval for you two to marry.”
“Yeah, he’s right.” Gerard said deciding now was as good as time as any to admit that truth.
Anna shook her head, “Jacob please do not encourage him. You know as well as I the chances of the council allowing such a thing are very slim.”
Before Jacob could answer Gerard cut in, “But there is a chance, right?”
Jacob nodded, “Yes, there is a chance. And I do realize Hudson has given you his blessing as it is. Having that does help your case.”
Anna stood on shaky legs, “I…” She took a breath, “I am going for a walk.” She left the room as both men silently watched.
Gerard was about to speak when Mrs. Ellis arrived with a tray bearing the breakfast she’d prepared. Before leaving she offered Jacob a cup of coffee, which he accepted.
“Make sure we are not disturbed.” He said to the housekeeper.
She nodded, “Yes, sir.”
Once she had gone Jacob took a drink of the coffee and sighed, “You know I have never understood this taste. While I do not find it disagreeable I do not understand how mortals seem so enamored by it.”
Gerard felt himself relaxing a bit, “Hey, I need the stuff to get going in the morning.” He took another drink then sighed, “She’s pretty upset.”
“Yes, well I understand. Annabelle does not want to be disappointed.”
“You mean she doesn’t want to get her hopes up that we can marry?”
Jacob nodded, “Yes, exactly.”
“So what do you think?”
“I think that at the moment there is a more pressing issue that needs to be addressed.”
Gerard took a bit of his eggs while trying to put into words some of the thoughts that had been racing through his head. He looked at Jacob, “I’m free to say whatever I want right now?”
Jacob’s eyebrow rose slightly then he nodded.
“Okay well I’m not sure where to begin.” Gerard admitted, “I guess I want to ask a few questions. See the thing is Anna doesn’t really want to talk about the Healer world and I’m kinda in the dark about things.”
“Yes.” Jacob nodded, “I am sure you are. It is ironic that the only one I ever chose to turn hates the world I gave her.”
Gerard thought he heard real hurt in his voice, “I don’t think she hates the Healer world. I know the gift she was given is something she’s cherished. The fact that she could save Claire and me are very important to her. While she hasn’t said I’m sure she’s used that gift to save other too.”
Jacob nodded to the truth in that statement.
“But certain parts of the Healer world are hard for her.” Gerard said slowly.
“Yes, because she is not a true Healer.”
Gerard took a bite of toast, “Look, here’s the thing. I know she’s considered turned wrong because she still has certain mortal emotions but I just don’t get it. Why is it wrong to feel human emotions?”
“Because they cloud a Healer’s judgment.” Jacob answered. He took another sip of coffee than sat back in his chair, “Once there was a time when Healers and mortals lived together in harmony. Each knew of the other’s existence. But, and I will admit my perception of this is personal, human nature came into play. They were jealous of our gifts but mostly they lusted after our immortality. Because they could never have our gifts their jealousy turned to anger. That anger was turned against us in the form of superstitions. We were deemed evil even though we share the same Maker.”
“The vampire legends.” Gerard said softly becoming engrossed in the conversation.
“Yes.” Jacob smiled sadly, “To the humans, Healers became evil beings who dwell in the darkness, feeding on them.”
“But you don’t.” Gerard said shaking his head.
“Well.” Jacob said softly, “Now we arrive at another part of history. The part that saddens me beyond words. Healers allowed the hatred of mortals to corrupt our ways. Many chose to live the lives the morals claimed was ours. We lost our way and I believe once that happened the Supreme Being turned His back on us. In doing so we lost our ability to understand our true purpose. No longer were we able to sense who our gifts should be bestowed upon.”
“You mean who to save, who to heal?”
Jacob nodded, “Yes. We walk through this life not instinctively knowing who it is we should and should not heal.”
Gerard sat back forgetting his breakfast, “Shit, I had no idea.”
“And now sadly there seems to be just as many evil Healers and good.”
“So once upon a time Healers could feel who they we’re supposed to heal but you can’t feel that now?” Gerard asked wanting to make sure he understood.
“Yes, that is correct in most instances.”
“But I still don’t understand why it’s wrong for a Healer to feel human emotions.”
“As I said those emotions cloud our judgments. Feeling compassion for all humans could make it so that we chose to heal ever human who needed our gift.”
“But you can’t because some people are meant to die.” Gerard said as he began to understand.
“Yes.” Jacob nodded, “Death is an important part of life for mortals.”
“Do you ever wonder why Healers were created?” Gerard asked hoping the question wasn’t out of line.
“Oh, often.” Jacob smiled, “Humans were created in the Makers own image, or so it’s been said. However I believe Healers were also created in that image. Perhaps we were originally set to be caretakers. Now eat. Your breakfast is growing cold.”
Gerard looked down at his plate, “Dude, gotta tell you this conversation is much more important to me than food.”
“Because you seek to understand Annabelle better?”
“I want to understand everything about her world better.” Gerard admitted. He took another bit of his lukewarm eggs. “So why is it you think that Healers we’re given the ability to turn mortals?”
“Acutally Pures were given that ability.” Jacob answered. “In the beginning there we’re only mortals and Pures.”
“How many Pures are there?”
Jacob laughed, “Well we do not take a censes and since the beginning some Pures have been lost. However there are still many of us.”
Gerard looked into his eyes, “Jacob you talk about the beginning like you were there. How old are you?”
“Older than you can imagine.” Jacob answered.
“So are all the Pures that old?”
“No, Pures are still born into this world. They are born to human mothers but the Healer world always senses when this happens and the child is taken to be raised among its kind.
Gerard nodded, “So not all Pures are that old?”
“Correct. A Pure is born then ages until its 25th year. Then the aging process stops.”
“Okay so why do you think Healers can turn mortals?” Gerard asked getting back to his original question.
“That I can not answer. We do not know but turning a mortal is rarely done anymore. Perhaps it is simply anger at them that makes us wish to deny our gifts.”
The room grew silent as Gerard and Jacob both became lost in thought. Finally Jacob spoke.
“You do realize that I know why you are asking these questions.”
Gerard noticed his hands were shaking as he raised his coffee cup. “Yeah, I’m sure you do.”
Jacob sighed, “Gerard even if the council allowed it Annabelle would not want you to take that chance.”
“But I want to be with her always.” Gerard whispered.
“Yes, I understand.” Jacob said softly. “But you must realize that Annabelle is a rarity. Turned mortals are not like her. You would lose your ability to feel human love. The love you feel for your family and friends would be lost forever. The love you feel right now for Annabelle would also be lost.”
“Yeah, if I was turned correctly.” Gerard said looking down.
“You would be.” Jacob answered.
Taking a deep breath Gerard tried to steady his nerves knowing that he was about to say could anger the Pure. “But if I was turned by a Pure who himself was wrong, then maybe not.”
For a moment the tension in the room was thick.
Jacob sat his coffee cup down with such force it shattered. He ignored the coffee and ceramic shards as he glared at Gerard.
“You are implying I am wrong? You dare to say a Pure older than you can possibly imagine is wrong?”
Gerard gathered all his strength, “I’m right, aren’t I?”