Claire calls Christa to explain what has happened.
Claire took a deep breath trying to control the mental and physical anguish, “Jacob told me that the car they were driving went off the road. It was traveling at great speed until it hit the tree.” At this her voice broke and she began to sob uncontrollably.
“He’s dead?” Christa whispered in disbelief. Her mind tried to comprehend Claire’s words.
“There was nothing Anna could do.” Claire said softly while she reached for a tissue to blot her eyes.
“But she’s a Healer.” Christa said struggling to understand.
“She could not stop his death it was only moments away.”
“Oh God.” Christa cried. “I can’t believe this. Oh..” Her voice trailed off. “Ray is going to be devastated.” She said as her husbands face flashed before her eyes. “Everyone will be. Oh Mikey.” She couldn’t go on.
“Christa.” Claire’s voice was suddenly stronger. “You must calm down and listen to me. I have to explain.”
“Anna could not stop death from taking him so she took his life before it could happen.”
For a moment Christa forgot to breath. “What?”
“You know what Anna truly is.” Claire said softly then waited for the truth to dawn on her friend.
“But..” Christa sputtered. “You mean she….He’s not dead…He’s like her now?”
“We do not know what will happen. For now Gerard sleeps with the dead. In three days when he awakens his fate as well as Anna’s will be decided.”
Christa closed her eyes a moment trying to understand but it was proving to be impossible. “Claire please tell me what’s going on. I don’t understand and I’m scared.”
“Anna has broken one of the Healers most important laws, she turned a man without the consent of the council.” She paused, “An offense punishable by death.”
“But” Christa felt her stomach flip and feared she’d be sick, “I don’t understand. Gerard was dying she had no choice.”
“She did have a choice and that choice should have been to let death take him.”
“No” Christa shook her head wildly, “That’s wrong. Gerard loves Anna I’m sure he would have chosen to stay with her.”
“But that was not a choice he had the right to make. It was not a choice Anna had the right to make.”
For several minutes there was nothing but silence each woman lost in thought. Finally Christa spoke. “Why is Anna still in so much pain? I can feel it, it’s overwhelming. Is she afraid of the council and what they will do?”
“Anna has lost everything.” Claire whispered. “Everything.” Tears rolled down her cheeks.
“But maybe the council will understand.” Christa prayed. “Maybe it will somehow be okay.”
“You do not fully understand. Even if they showed mercy and allowed Gerard to live as a Healer and to not punish Anna for her act she still has lost everything. The love Gerard felt for her is gone. As a Healer he will love her as his Maker. The human love he felt for her is gone. All of his human emotions are gone. Anna knows this, she never wanted this to happen.”
“Oh God.” The truth was painful. “Claire what will happen?”
“When Gerard awakens their fates will be decided.”
“You mean they already know this has happened? They know Anna turned Gerard?”
“As a Pure it was Jacob’s duty to inform them. As I spoke to him one of the council members was just arriving at the estate. Soon more will arrive. Anna is being kept as a prisoner in one wing of the estate. She can have no contact with anyone until her fate is decided.” Claire felt her heart breaking, “But she has already resigned herself to the fact that nothing matters anymore. She is waiting for it all to be over.”
“No.” Christa cried, “We must go to her, help her.”
“Jacob, as her Marker, is also being held accountable for her actions. The only reason he was allowed to phone me was to give me Anna’s final command. She dose not want us to be present at the inquiry. She has forbidden us from going to her.” At this Claire broke down sobbing once again.
“But we are bound to her. I want to be with her.” Christa said vehemently.
“We can not. If we were to go against her wishes it would only prove that she does not control us as is expected. It would only make things worse.”
“There has to be something we can do. This is all so wrong.” She said searching her mind for some answer, any answer that could help. “Wait.” She said suddenly as a chilling thought passed through her brain, “What if it wasn’t really an accident? Someone has tried to harm Gerard before.”
“Jacob mentioned the same.” Claire admitted softly, “But the fact remains no matter how this happened it happened and Anna broke the Healers law.”
“That’s wrong.” Christa felt anger she could not control, “If someone caused the accident then they forced Anna into doing what she did.”
“No one can force a Healer.” Claire said sadly, “Not a true Healer.”
“But because Anna isn’t like them…”
“Yes. Because Anna is not like them she let her emotions rule her actions.”
“So now they will know she’s not like them?” Fear was evident in her voice.
“I pray her actions will not be viewed that way. To turn one who is blood bound to a Healer without permission is against their laws but it was been done before. I pray they will simply believe Anna wanted Gerard so she turned him, not out of a great love but out of pure desire to keep him with her. Healers have strong desires that can be explained. Human love can not be understood nor will it be tolerated. Jacob admitted to me that his greatest wish at this time it for Anna to remember she is a Healer and act accordingly in front of the council members. It is her only hope. If they realize she is wrong Jacob will be immediately commanded to destroy her.”
“He wouldn’t” Christa cried out.
“No, I do not believe her would but Anna knows that if he went against a direct command he would be destroyed. I believe she will do everything in her power to keep that from happening.”
“Claire there is has to be something we can do.” Christa said wiping away her tears. “I just know it.”
“I have failed Anna.” Claire said so softly Christa almost didn’t hear he words. “I should have reported her actions to Jacob so many times. Perhaps he could have done something.”
“I don’t understand.”
Suddenly Claire could not control her emotions; “I wish she had never laid eyes on Gerard.”
Christa could hear the pain in her voice, “If she hadn’t you never would have met Bob.”
“I know that.” Claire cried, “I know that the happiness I now have has cost Anna dearly.”
“You can’t think that way. Anna wouldn’t want you to think that way.”
The sound of the kitchen door opening brought a rush of words form Claire, “I must go now. Bob has returned. I can not let him see me this way.”
“I understand.” She was about to say more when she realized Claire had disconnected the call.
John threw open the door then smiled at the sight before his eyes. She was as beautiful as he’d remembered. It had felt like they’d been parted for years. He pulled her in his arms. “I’ve missed you.” He murmured hugging her tightly.
“I’ve missed you.” She said gently pulling out of his arms. She loosened the top button of her light jacket. “But it’s only been a few days, silly boy.”
He loved her smile, it was perfect just like everything else about her. “It seems like so much longer.”
Moving across the room she lowered herself to the bed. “I want to thank you for everything you have done. I am very pleased.”
He would have moved heaven and earth if that’s what she’d wanted. “I’d do anything for you.’ He said sitting down next to her. At it was the truth. He’d left his wife and child for her. He’d walked away from his old life for her. She was everything to him. It was as if he’d never had a life until he’d met her that night.
She was watching him closely, “What are you thinking about?” She had already guessed but wanted to hear him admit it.
“I was thinking about the night I met you. As soon as you walked into the bar I saw you. God, you were the most beautiful woman I’d ever seen. Shit, when you looked at me I couldn’t believe it.”
Her laugh was soft, “Why?”
He looked down, “Well because look at me. I’m nothing special.”
“Of course you are special.” She lied, “Very special to me.”
His eyes were filled with happiness when he looked up. “That’s all I want. I want to be special in your eyes. I just want to move forward together, have the life you’ve promised me.” Yes, she’d promised him so much.
Gently reaching out she placed both of her hands on his cheeks then looked deeply into his eyes. “Say it.” She commanded.
“I love you.” He whispered.
For a moment she considered letting him show her just how much but the man waiting in her car held her interest more. Still gazing deeply into his eyes she spoke, “It is too bad that the love you feel has turned ugly.”
“Ugly?” He repeated. The puzzled look on his face made it clear he could no longer control his own thoughts.
“Yes ugly.” She repeated knowing that his thoughts were now in her control. “It is sad you now realized I don’t love you. I never have.”
Tears appeared in his eyes.
“And it is very sad that once I leave you will take the gun you always carry and end your pathetic life.”
He sat completely still.
“You do understand?”
John gave a slight nod.
She released his face then stood. Giving him one last look she realized once again how much she hated pathetic mortals.
It wasn’t until she reached the car and her newest lover pulled away that the sound of the gunshot pierced the night.
The room was almost completely dark yet Christa had not moved from the sofa to turn on the lights. After she had spoken to Claire she’d curled up on the sofa and cried until there were no more tears. Anna’s emotions had so overwhelmed her that she couldn’t seem to function. She wanted so badly to go to her yet understood she could not.
Slowly a thought took form. Not stopping to consider the consequences she sat up then flipped on the light. She had to do something; she could feel it in her soul.
Grabbing her phone she scrolled through the numbers. Part of her brain was telling her to stop and consider what she was about to do but a feeling she couldn’t explain urged her on.
“Katherine? This is Christa, Ray Toro’s wife.” Her words came out in a rush.
“Yes, I know who you are.” Katherine’s voice held a hint of amusement. “How are you?”
Suddenly Christa was afraid. What if calling the Pure was the wrong thing to do? What if she was only making things worse?
“Christa, what’s wrong?” Katherine’s voice had become serious.
Trusting her instincts Christa poured out the whole story. It wasn’t until she was done fear once again filled her. That fear was made worse when only silence met her final words. Several moments passed before Katherine spoke.
“I see.” Was all she said before disconnecting.
Christa threw down her phone and once again curled up and cried. Katherine’s disinterest only proved she’d made a mistake.
An hour later when her phone rang she had just fallen into an uneasy sleep. Grabbing it she quickly answered.
“I will pick you up at nine in the morning.”
It took Christa a moment to realize she was speaking to Katherine.
“Will that be difficult for you to get away?”
“Uh no. Ray’s gone for a few days.’ Christa answered coming more awake.
“Excellent.” Katherine sounded pleased. “Tomorrow at nine.” She disconnected before Christa could answer.