Granny gets right to the point.
“Bob I am sleepy.” She mumbled closing her eye again.
“Wake up, Sleepy.” Bob leaned down and brushed his beard across her cheek again.
“Why?” Claire asked while keeping her eyes shut.
“Because it’s a beautiful morning.” Bob answered dropping a kiss on her lips. “And because I just talked to mom.”
Hearing this Claire opened her eyes, “Mom called?”
It touched his heart she obviously had warmed to the idea of calling his mother, mom. “Yeah, she did. She wants us to come over.”
A look of confusion showed on Claire’s face. “But we just visited last night.”
Bob sat up but kept his hand on Claire’s arm. “Yeah, well I guess I should really say that Granny wants us to come over. She told mom she wants another chance to talk to you before she heads home tomorrow.”
“Oh” Claire sat up slowly as a small feeling of uncertainly filled her mind. While last night she’d enjoyed meeting Granny Clark there was still something about the woman that unnerved her. Several times during the evening she’d glanced over to see Granny staring intently at her. “She wants to talk to me?”
Bob nodded, “Yeah, that doesn’t bother you, does it?”
“No.” Claire answered hesitantly. “She made me feel very welcomed into the family.”
“Granny is a unique woman.” Bob nodded. “And like I said she can be a real hoot. Just wait until she starts telling stories about her life. She’s lived up in the hills of Kentucky forever, I think. Some of the stories are pretty weird I gotta warn you.”
“Yeah, sorta weird. Lot’s of strange superstitions and shit like that.”
Now Claire was again feeling nervous. Had Granny noticed something different about her because of her association with Anna?
Bob was studying Claire’s face closely. “Hey, I can say we can’t make it?” He offered.
“No, of course we can make it.” Claire said pushing back her uneasy feeling. “Besides I want to hear more stories about Young Bobbie.” She smiled.
Bob rolled his eyes. “Shit, I hope not.”
Claire suddenly wanted to know more about Granny. “When you were a boy did you visit her in Kentucky?”
“Yeah, a couple of times.” He said recalling the memories. “Gotta admit though it was kinda creepy. Granny lives in a real small little cabin way back up in the hills. The place has been in her family for decades. I remember once she told me that it was were she began life and it was where life would end for her.”
“What about her husband?” Claire asked wanting to learn everything she could about the woman.
“He died long before I was born. His name was Charlie and he and Granny had four daughters. My grandma, Grandma Mae was the youngest. You know it’s weird but I really don’t know that much about the family history. I do know Grandma Mae left Kentucky when she was pretty young. She met my Grandpa Clyde who was traveling through town and the story is they fell in love at first sight. Mom could probably tell you more.”
“I do not wish it to seem I am prying.” Claire said frowning.
“Hun, it ain’t prying to want to know about your new family’s history.” Bob laughed as he reached out to stroke her cheek. “Hell, Granny will probably fill you in on a lot of it herself.”
Claire smiled, “Yes well then I should get dressed so we can get going.” She threw back the blanket but Bob stopped her by gently grasping her shoulders.
“Uh excuse me Mrs. Bryar but I don’t believe you’ve given me a good morning kiss.”
Immediately Claire was more than happy to rectify that particular situation.
“Sugar, you really didn’t need to go to all this trouble.” Gerard said before stuffing another slice of bacon into his mouth.
Anna smiled, “I promised I would make you breakfast.” She took another sip of coffee then stood. As she moved away from the kitchen table she added, “Now I will wash up the dishes while you finish. My bag is already by the door.”
Gerard sighed, “Shit, I wish we didn’t have to go back.”
Anna shut off the water filling the sink, “I could call Jacob and tell him we will return tomorrow.” She turned waiting for Gerard’s reaction.
“Nope, we better go. Jacob must think it’s best so I’m sure it is.”
Turning back to the sink Anna placed the skittle in the soapy water. “It seems you have a new respect for Jacob and his wishes.”
Gerard glanced over at her knowing it was very important to Anna that he and her Maker were not at odds. “Yeah, well that’s true. I know how important you are to him and how much he cares about you.” He took a sip of coffee than added softly. “Besides I owe him a debt of gratitude I can never repay. If it wasn’t for him I would never have known you.”
Anna continued to scrub the skillet without answering. She sensed Gerard’s nearness before his arms encircled her waist.
“I love you Annabelle Lewis, never doubt that. Never doubt for a moment that I would want my life to be any different than it is now.”
“Still feeling bad, Babe?” Ray asked looking up from the magazine he’d been poring over for the last hour.
Christa was surprised by the question. “Why do you ask?”
Throwing the magazine down on the end table Ray laughed, “Uh, because you’ve just been sitting there staring into space while I’ve been reading.”
The truth was Christa had been lost in thoughts stemming from her late night conversation with Claire. “I’ve just been relaxing.” She lied.
Ray studied her face closely, “Is something wrong? I’m sorry I really didn’t mean to ignore you.”
His concern touched her, “You haven’t been ignoring me.”
“Yeah, I kinda have and I am sorry."
Christa smiled, “No you haven't”
Still Ray saw what he thought was sadness in her eyes, “You know I’ve been thinking. Maybe I shouldn’t go with Lou. I mean we really don’t have all that much time at home before he head back out on the road.”
“Don’t be silly.” Christa said quickly knowing how much Ray was looking forward to the road trip he was planning on taking with his brother. “You and Lou have it all planned out.”
“Yeah, but I don’t like leaving you here alone.” Ray frowned.
“Raymond.” Christa said fringing a stern attitude. “You and your brother will go and you will have fun. Besides a few days to myself will be good for me.”
He was relieved to hear she wasn’t upset by his plans. “Oh, so you want to get rid of me?” He teased as he stood and made his way over to her chair.
Christa laughed, “Oh damn, you figured out the truth.” She allowed him to left her out of the chair so that he could enclose her in a tight hug.
“I love you, Babe.” He whispered in her hear.
“Love you too.” Christa whispered back. She buried her face against his chest and tried not to let her earlier thoughts take over. Still she couldn’t shop feeling overwhelmed by those thoughts. Had forming a blood bond with Anna been the right thing to do? What if that bond somehow could endanger the life she shared with Ray? Would she be strong enough to put the feeling she felt for Anna aside if doing so would be best for her life? It was all becoming too confusing.
“But Granny you said you wanted to go.”
“Changed my mind.” Granny answered looking over at her granddaughter. “Ain’t I got a right to change my mind?”
Bob tried not to laugh at the look on his mother’s face. Granny Clark always seemed to confuse her.
“You young en’s all run along now.” Granny said with a wave of her wrinkled, sun-darkened hand.
Claire felt sorry for Bob’s mom. When they’d first arrived the plan had been for them to go shopping. Granny had talked about wanting to buy a few things “in town” as she called the city, before heading back home. Now it seemed she had changed her mind.
“But we were supposed to eat lunch out too.” Mrs. Bryar signed.
“Hey maybe we can pick something up for lunch on the way back.” Bob put in hoping that would shorten the shopping trip. The last thing he wanted was to go shopping with his mother and sister who he’d just heard walk in the front door.
“What’s up?” Carol asked joining them in the living room.
“Change of plans. Granny doesn’t want to go shopping now.” Her mother answered.
“Oh, okay.” Carol said slowly taking a seat.
Granny Clark grinned at her, “Now don’t be getting’ all comfortable. You’re still goin’ shopping.”
“And we’ll pick up lunch on the way back.” Bob added again hopefully.
“Naw, don’t be botherin’ with that. You all just eat while you’re out. Me and Clairy will grab us a bit from the ice box.”
Claire blinked in confusion. First because Granny had obviously just gave her the nickname of Clairy and second because it sounded like she wouldn’t be joining the others.
Bob’s arm tightened around Claire’s shoulder. Now it was becoming clear to him Granny had this planned all along. She wanted to get Claire alone. He glanced over at his wife to gauge her reaction.
Recovering quickly Claire smiled, “I am sure we can find something here for lunch.” Her answer was rewarded by a smile from Granny.
“Are you sure?” Bob asked Claire softly.
“Now Bobby there ain’t nothing wrong with your old granny wantin’ to spend some time getting’ to know your new bride.” Granny said with a grin.
Bob was still looking over at Claire waiting for her answer.
“It would be nice for Granny to get a chance to know each other.” Claire smiled at her husband. “I would truly enjoy staying here.”
“Good” Granny nodded happily. “Now git goin’ all of you. Clairy and me will be just fine.”
“We’ll be back in a few hours.” Mrs. Bryar said as she stood up from her sofa. “Who’s driving?” She asked her children.
In the end it was decided Bob would drive. He pulled Claire into his arms for a kiss before leaving. “Be back soon.” He whispered.
Once they were out the door Granny got right to the point, “Clairy I did a powerful lot of thinkin’ last night.” She smiled slightly, “When you git old sleep don’t come near as easy as it once did.” She stopped and patted the spot on the sofa next to her. She waited until Claire moved across the room and sat down. Reaching over she took Claire’s hand in hers. “I love that Bobby so I gotta know.” Tightening her grip on Claire’s hand she asked, “You ain’t ever gonna let the darkness hurt him are ya?”
After throwing both bags into the car Gerard returned to the house. Anna was just coming down the main staircase. He smiled up at her. “Ready?”
“Yes.” Anna sighed.
Glancing in the direction of the now infamous chair in the lining room Gerard smiled, “Uh, we could leave in a few hours.”
Anna followed his gaze and laughed, “Mr., Way is that all you think about?’ She teased.
“Well for sure.” He nodded. “I’m a guy in love.”
“Not sure love has anything to do with it. I believe the fact that you are a man has a lot to do with it.”
Gerard crossed over and took her into his arms. “Maybe some guys are like that but not me.” He whispered. “My love for you is stronger than my lust.”
Anna smuggled closer to him. “As much as I too would like to postpone our leaving I really believe we should go. Jacob is expecting us.”
“Yeah, I guess you’re right.” Gerard admitted grudgingly.
As soon as he saw Gerard place the bags in the car he stowed away the binoculars then started the engine. Timing was very important from this point on. He started the engine and drove towards his destination with a strong sense of determination. Nothing could go wrong he couldn’t disappoint her.
A few minutes later the small gravel road came into sight. Slowing the truck he made the turn then continued down the bumpy road. When he reached the top of the hill he pulled over slightly then cut the engine. Soon this would all be over, his job would be done and she would reward him.
Quickly he gathered up his things, got out of the truck then made his way into the dense brush. He knew exactly the spot he was heading for and wasted no time arriving at his destination. From this vantage point he could see the road below him. Now all he had to go was get into position and wait. A smile appeared on his face as he got ready. With any luck the fucker would be driving like he had on the way up here, too fast. Of course he really couldn’t blame the guy. The car begged to be rode hard. His smile widened when thought once more about her. She too begged to be rode hard and often. Soon that’s what he would do every day and night. She’s promised him and he’d believed.