Anna speaks to Christa. Bob does his best to understand Claire.
Sighing she moved towards one of the wooden benches just as a light sprinkling of raindrops began to fall from the sky. The overcast day seemed to match her mood perfectly. While it was just a light rain now the clouds seemed to promise a coming storm. Her life at the moment seemed to mirror the same thing.
As she sat lost in thought her cell phone rang. Glad for the distraction she removed it from her pocket and saw that it was Christa calling.
“Hello.” Anna answered hoping her voice did not reveal her uneasy state of mind.
“Hey, Anna.” Christa glanced over and gave Ray, who was leaving to run errands, and waved goodbye. “Hope I’m not calling at a bad time.”
“Not at all. How are you?”
Once the door was closed Christa relaxed. She wanted to speak to Anna without fear of being overheard. “I’m fine. We’re just settling in and I have to admit it’s good to be home. Ray just left and he’s promised to stop by the grocery store so he can make dinner for me tonight.”
“That is nice.” Anna said sounding a bit distracted.
Christa inwardly sighed, at times it was hard to remember that dinner was something Anna really couldn’t relate to since she rarely ate. “So you and Gee are at Jacobs?”
“Yes, we arrived very late last night.”
Something in Anna’s tone sounded off to Christa. “So how did it go? I mean Gee meeting Jacob?”
Anna sighed, “Not so well, I am afraid.” Suddenly she realized she wanted to share her feelings. “Men are stupid.”
Her words caused Christa to burst out laughing, “Yeah, sometimes they are. What happened?”
“Jacob made quite a showing of his affection for me.”
“And Gee got pissed?”
“Yes.” She wanted Christa to understand, “Jacob does love me of course because he is my Maker.”
“Well I’m sure he does.” Christa answered, “But he’s probably a bit jealous of Gee just like Gee is jealous of him.”
“I understand that.” Anna admitted, “But it really is all so silly.”
“Hey, that’s just how guys are.” Christa laughed.
“Yes it seems it does not matter if they are mortal or immortal they still like to posture.”
Christa thought a moment, “Of course it’s probably harder for Jacob. I mean being a Pure and all it’s gotta be hard for him. I’m sure he’d like to point out to Gerard that he’s much more powerful.”
“Well of course he is that goes without saying.” Anna huffed.
Once more Christa laughed, “Anna you gotta remember you’re dealing with men on this. Gerard loves you and he doesn’t want to seem weak in your eyes even though he knows Jacob is stronger.”
“I just wish I knew what was going on.” Anna admitted forgetting that Christa did not know the two men in question were inside engaged in conversation.
“You mean about whoever slipped that drug to Gerard?”
“Oh, well yes, that too. What I meant was right now they are inside talking and I have been banished.”
Christa grinned at the dramatic way Anna spoke, “Oh so they wanted to talk alone?”
“Actually Gee wanted to speak to Jacob privately.” Anna said softly.
“And that upsets you?”
“In a way it makes me feel like a child whose welfare is being discussed.” Anna admitted.
“Oh” Christa said softly, “What do you think they are talking about?”
“I believe Gerard is discussing the fact that he wishes to marry me.”
“And you don’t want him to do that?” Christa asked.
“It is not that I do not want him to discuss it with Jacob but why can we not do it together?” She said frowning then quickly added speaking what was in her heart, “That is not the whole truth. I want so very badly to marry Gee but I am afraid that I will not be given permission by the council. If they decide against it then there will be nothing more to be done.”
Christa began to understand, “So you’re afraid they’ll say you can’t marry him.”
“Yes and if that is the case I am afraid how he will react.”
“Anna, he’ll want you to be with him anyway, you have to know that.” Christa said gently. “He loves you.”
A feeling of hopelessness fell over Anna, “It does not really matter. Even if we were given permission our time together as husband and wife would seem so brief. Time passes so quickly.”
“I don’t understand.” Christa said almost feeling the despair in Anna’s voice.
“He is of an age where within ten to fifteen years it will be apparent that he is aging and I am not. When it becomes noticeable that I am not aging as a mortal I will be ordered to disappear from his life.” Anna’s voice trembled slightly. “But I would give anything to be his wife for those few years.”
“Oh Anna.” Christa said sadly, “Don’t give up hope. I’ve got a good feeling it will work out for you and Gee.”
“Do you really?” Anna asked trying to hold on to hope.
Christa closed her eyes and forced herself to answer putting aside the foreboding feeling that was haunting her. “Yes, don’t give up hope, Anna.” She whispered.
Bob pulled the RV into the truck stop parking lot and cut the engine. “Ready for some breakfast?” He asked his wife.
Claire smiled, “Yes, I am ready for some pancakes.”
Bob laughed, “With strawberries?”
Stretching her arms above her head Claire yawned, “No today I would like blueberries.” Suddenly her smiled slipped, “Bob have I been eating too much?”
Her sudden change from happy to serious surprised Bob, “What?”
Claire frowned, “I just realized I am eating so much more now.”
Bob realized he must be getting a glimpse of those pregnancy hormones the others had warned him about. “Honey you aren’t eating too much. I like my girl to have a healthy appetite.”
“But I do not want to get fat.” Claire whispered.
He leaned over and took her hand in his, “Claire you aren’t gonna get fat but you are eating for two now.”
Claire continued to frown, “But what if I did?”
“Did what?” Bob asked clearly confused.
“Get fat.” Claire said looking down. “You would not find me desirable if that happened.”
Bob inwardly groaned knowing he had to make her believe him. “Honey, I love you and that ain’t gonna ever change even if you do put on some weight.”
“So you believe I have gained weight?” Claire asked hurriedly.
“Oh man.” Bob muttered.
“Just say what you really think.” Claire said pulling her hand from his. “I must know.”
Bob decided to level with her. “Okay I will. I think right now your hormones are outta whack because of the baby. You’re worrying about something very silly.” He saw how upset she looked so he quickly added, “But it’s understandable.”
“I do not see why my concern is silly.” Claire said suddenly switching into anger. “It is a very real concern.”
Bob realized he wasn’t gonna win. Right now nothing he said was going to be right. Still he tried again, “All I’m saying is you shouldn’t worry about gaining weight. You know it is gonna happen during the pregnancy. It’s important that you eat right so you and the baby are healthy.”
Just as quickly as it had flared her anger faded, “Yes, I know you are right.” She said looking down.
“Now what’s wrong?” He saw her wipe a tear from her eye.
“I am sorry.” She whispered. “My emotions confuse me.”
Once more he reached for her hand, “Hey, I understand. Don’t worry about it. Now lets get in there and have some breakfast.”
Claire smiled as she looked into his eyes, “Pancakes?”
“Yep, pancakes with blueberries.”
“What if they do not have blueberries?” Claire teased feeling better.
“Then we’ll just get up and walk out. My wife wants blueberries than by God she’ll have blueberries.”
As they walked hand in hand across the parking lot Claire tried to put the other worries from her mind while still wishing she could share them with Bob. At times like this she wished with all her heart she could share all her worries with him but sadly she knew that could never be.
Alicia walked back into the bedroom just as Mikey tossed his phone down on the bed with a disgusted sigh.
“What’s wrong?” She asked crawling back into the bed.
“Nothing.” He answered leaning back on the pillows and closing his eyes.
“Hey.” She said moving closer to her husband. “I thought we decided we were going to spend the day in bed watching movies and snuggling?”
“We are.” He answered not opening his eyes.
“Michael Way” Alicia said swatting his chest playfully. “Tell me what’s wrong. When I left a minute ago you were in a great mood. Who was on the phone?”
“No one was on the phone.” He answered with a sigh, “I tried to call Gee but he’s not answering. It went straight to voice mail.”
“Just means he’s got his phone turned off. I don’t see why that’s a big deal.”
Mikey opened his eyes, “Why would he do that?”
Alicia groaned as she reached over to the bedside table and picked up her cell.
“Who you callin’?” Mikey asked.
She ignored him. “Hey, Anna.” Alicia said and before her husband could stop her she launched into an explanation about how worried he was about his brother.
“May I speak to him please?” Anna asked softly.
Alicia held the phone out to her husband, “She wants to talk to you.”
Mikey frowned but took the phone, “Hey, Anna.”
“Hello Mikey. I did not realize Gee had his phone turned off but I will make sure and have him return your call as soon as possible.”
“Oh, I didn’t really want anything.” Mikey said while trying to ignore the fact that Alicia was rolling her eyes. “I, uh, just wanted to make sure you guys got there okay.”
“Your concern for your brother is understandable.” Anna answered, “I know you are worried about him.”
“No, I’m not worried.” Mikey lied quickly. Once again Alicia rolled her eyes and mouthed “liar’.
Anna sighed, “I understand, honestly I do. I am sure you question our relationship and how quickly it has progressed.”
Mikey leaned back and closed his eyes, “Anna, it’s not you.”
“Well in a way it is.” Anna answered softly, “You fear I will hurt your brother.”
Mikey heard the hurt in her voice, “I just can’t stand the thought of him getting hurt again. I mean he rushed into his last relationship and it almost destroyed him.”
“Yes.” Anna agreed sadly “I know.”
Mikey sighed, “Look, I’m just being stupid about this. I know you’re nothing like her. I know you wouldn’t hurt him like that. I’m sorry.”
“There is no reason for you to be sorry.” Anna answered. “When you love someone you worry. But I promise you I love your brother with all my heart.”
Hearing her say those words with such conviction made him smile. “And I know he loves you too. Hey, don’t even tell him I called, okay?”
“Are you sure?” Anna questioned.
“Yeah, I’m sure. You guys just have a nice break and we’ll probably see you at moms.”
“That is our plan.” Anna smiled feeling better Mikey believed her words. “Tell Alicia we will shop while in New York.”
Mikey laughed, “Yeah, well that will definitely make her happy. Take care Anna.”
Anna said goodbye then closed her phone.
“What is our plan?”
“Gee.” Anna hadn’t seen him approaching. “How are you?”
Gerard sat down next to her on the bench and laughed, “How am I?” He laughed, “You mean did I survive my talk with Jacob?”
“Of course you survived your conversation with Jacob.” Anna frowned.
“Well, to be honest there were a few tense moments I wasn’t sure I was gonna survive.” He admitted hoping she would believe he was teasing even though the memory of Jacob’s anger was still fresh in his mind.
Anna sat up with a frightened look on her face, “What do you mean? Is Jacob angry?”
He knew that there were things he and Jacob had discussed he would not share with her. However, he wanted her to understand that he and Jacob had gone head to head and he’d held his ground. “He surprised me.” Gerard said slowly, “You gotta understand the love both of us have for you causes some friction. But we sat, shared a drink and I think both of us have new-found respect for each other.”
“And just why is it that I was not allowed to sit in on this conversation?” Anna asked testily.
Her tone made him grin, “Oh now don’t go getting all pissy again.” He teased.
Anna glared at him. “I am not pissy.”
Moving closer he put his arm around her, “Anna look, the thing is I really just needed to talk to Jacob about some things I didn’t understand.”
“Things about Healers?” Anna guessed.
“Because I did not explain them to you as I should have done.” Anna said looking down.
He hugged her, “It’s okay, Sugar. Me talking to Jacob was sorta like going to the source for answers. Shit, I had no idea just how old the guy is.”
Anna’s eyes narrowed, “Did he give you an exact age?”
Gerard shook his head.
She relaxed, “Good.”
“Good?” He asked sounding confused.
“He has never shared that information with me.” She said slowly.
“Oh so it would have pissed you off if he’d told me and not you.”
Anna frowned, “Yes, it would have pissed me off.”
Gerard laughed, “Well, I don’t want you to be pissed off. Or pissy for that matter. Jacob and I had a very interesting conversation and I gotta tell you I like the guy.”
Anna suddenly smiled, “I am glad.”
“So” He said changing the conversation in hopes she wouldn’t ask for anymore details about what he and Jacob had talked about, “Who were you talking to?”
“Oh Alicia called.” Anna answered remembering she’d told Mikey she wouldn’t tell Gerard he’d called. Besides she reasoned Alicia had originally made the call.
“So what plan we’re you talking about?”
“Meeting them at your mother’s.” Anna answered.
He nodded, “Yeah, uh about that. Jacob may have an idea who is behind what’s been going on but he said it may take a few days to see if he’s right.”
Anna’s eyes narrowed, “What are you not telling me?”
Gerard looked sheepish, “Who says I’m not telling you something?”
“I am saying it.” She responded.
“Anna, some of the stuff Jacob and I talked about was sorta personal. I don’t feel right telling you.”
“You believe only Jacob should tell me.”
“Well he will not.” She sighed, “If it is something personal he will refrain from telling me. He has always been that way.”
Gerard tried to make her understand, “Just like you he has some things in his past that are brutal. I think maybe he has just tried to shelter you from them.”
This surprised Anna, “But why would he not want to share them with me?”
“Why hadn’t you shared your past with him?” Gerard asked softly.
The question caught her off guard, “There was no reason.” She sputtered.
“Because sometimes our pain seems like it’s too personal to share.” Gerard said looking deeply into her eyes. “Even with someone you love.”
“But I told you.” Anna whispered remembering back to Cripple Creek when she’d told him the whole truth about the time leading up to her death.
“Yes.” He kissed her lips gently, “You did but it wasn’t easy.”
“But Jacob is a Pure.” Anna said shaking her head, “It is different.”
Gerard knew the conversation was treading into an area he couldn’t go. He could never tell Anna that Jacob considered himself wrong. He did however hope that someday Jacob would share that information with her. He needed to change the direction of the conversation, “He suggested we stay here while he sees what he can find out.”
“He truly believes he may know who is behind all of this?”
Gerard nodded, “Yeah, I think so. Not sure how long it will take so I don’t know if we’ll have time to visit mom before the tour starts again.”
“She will be very disappointed.”
“Yeah, I know but this is important.” Gerard reminded her. He really hoped Jacob would be successful in his quest to find out if Judith was behind all of this. At the same time he wondered how Jacob would handle it if she was. Before he’d left the study Jacob had told Gerard that if he was correct and Judith had in fact been turned and was behind this she would be turned over to the council. Although he hadn’t said it Gerard knew what that would mean. Jacob would be turning the woman he’d believed to be his soul mate over to be destroyed. Would he truly be able to do that?
Anna too was lost in thought, “Perhaps tomorrow we can drive to my home and stay there overnight.”
“Yeah, maybe. It’s not too far is it?”
“A few hours.” Anna answered, “I really would like you to see it.”
“Then that’s what we’ll do.” Gerard said happy to see the smile on her face reached her eyes. “I’d love to see your home.” He grinned and added, “You know when we finally come off this tour maybe that’s where we’ll wanna live.”
“Oh.” Anna was surprised, “I had not considered that. It is in a fairly remote area.”
“Sounds like the prefect place for us.” Gerard said leaning down to nuzzle her neck, “Just you and me all alone. I like how that sounds.”
“Yes.” Anna said leaning her head to the side so his lips could continue to cover her skin with kisses, “I like that thought.”
A loud clap of thunder preceded a wall of raindrops that suddenly fell from the sky. Neither Anna nor Gerard seemed to notice.
“Anna.” Gerard whispered her name as his lips traveled up her soft neck to her earlobe.
Anna shifted her body so that she was facing him on the bench. The fire in her eyes made him moan. His eyes fell to her thin white shirt that was now plastered to her body. His hands moved to cup her breasts while his thumbs caressed her nipples.
“Gee.” Anna whispered, “Come.” She grabbed his hands and pulled him up with her as she stood. “I know a private place where we can go.”