Christa is shocked by what Hudson reveals.
“Yes.” Hudson smiled, “We must work on that.” He gently pulled her across the room leading her to the large overstuffed leather sofa. Once she was seated he sat down turning his body so he could face her. He was still holding her hand. “Now tell me why you called Katherine.”
Christa was confused, surely Katherine had told him about the car accident. Then a thought crossed her mind. He was asking her, testing her the same way Katherine had done. “Because I am bound to Anna and it is my duty to care for her.”
Much to her surprise Hudson laughed, “Wow did that sound practiced.”
Christa glanced over at Katherine and saw she was smiling. Suddenly she felt a wave of anger. “Look I don’t know what I’m supposed to say.”
Hudson released her hand then lifted his fingertip to cup her chin, “I’m sorry.” He said becoming serious. “Katherine and I are confusing you.”
“Damn right you are. Look, I’m afraid I’ve messed up when all I was trying to do was help Anna.”
Looking deeply into her eyes he said, “You did the right thing. All of us here want to help Anna. She and Gerard are very precious to me.” His hand dropped as he turned slightly to face Katherine, “Would you be a love and give Christa and I some time alone?”
Katherine sighed, “I do hate it when you dismiss me, you know.” It was obvious the Pure did not like taking orders from anyone.
“I know that.” Hudson said evenly “but I also know you always indulge me.”
“That I do.” Katherine sighed, “I will be soaking in the Jacuzzi if you need me.”
Hudson waited until she was out of sight to turn his attention back to Christa. “Now then, about the trust issue.”
“Should I trust you?” Christa asked bluntly.
Hudson looked surprised, “You have quite a fire in your eyes when you feel threatened, that’s good. And to answer your question, yes, you should trust me. It is my deepest desire to help Anna and Gerard.”
Christa studied his eyes a moment then nodded, “Okay, I will trust you.”
Settling himself comfortably he sighed, “Your trust does not come that easy. You say you trust me but I don’t believe it and neither do you.”
Again Christa felt her anger rise, “Look, we have to help Anna. That’s the only important thing.”
“But for that to happen I truly have to own your trust.” Hudson countered. “You have no idea how difficult and serious this situation is.”
“So what do we do?” Christa asked.
“For me to prove to you I truly want to help them you must trust me. I am going to ask something of you, something that if what Katherine believes is correct will prove it to you completely.”
Christa was beginning to feel like the girl who fell down a rabbit hole. Everything was confusing and she was beginning to be afraid. “What Katherine believes? What are you talking about?”
“This is difficult to explain and if she’s wrong then it makes no difference in our quest to help them.” He saw Christa’s mouth open but before she could speak he held up his hand, “I know you’re confused. I’m sorry about that. But I need for right now you to trust me enough to grant my request.”
“What request?” Christa asked slowly.
Hudson sat forward, “I need to taste your blood.”
The room grew silent for several moments while Christa’s brain processed his words. Finally she spoke, “Why?”
“You keep asking why.” Hudson sighed.
“Well of course I do.” Christa said exasperatedly. “Why do you need to taste my blood and for that matter why did Katherine act so weird when I let her taste it? Is something wrong with it?”
“On the contrary, if she is correct then something is very right. Something that could help Anna and Gerard. But I have to be sure. Katherine believes she is right but she is not nearly as old as me. I have encountered this once before while she never has.”
“And you just can’t tell me what it is?” Christa asked nervously.
“I need to know for sure. If she is right then I will explain it to you. I will prove it to you.”
Again the room fell silent. “Just a taste, like she did?” Christa’s voice held a hint of fear which did not go unnoticed by Hudson.
“Yes, Christa just a small taste. I know you are hesitant but I need you to trust me.”
Suddenly a thought made its way into her brain, “Why are you being so nice about it? You could just take my blood without asking.”
Hudson laughed, “God you are something. Here I am being all nice trying to earn your trust and you ask me that.”
While his words made sense for some reason she didn’t quite believe him. “Okay.” She said slowly holding out her hand. “Just a taste.” Her breath caught when she saw his eyes flash.
“Thank you.” He said reaching for her hand. Gently he lifted it to his mouth. Again Christa’s breath caught when she saw his fangs extend. He used one to gently pierce the skin of her finger. A moment later when the first bead of blood appeared he sucked her finger into his mouth. He closed his eyes and moaned.
Christa watched strangely fascinated. However, when he moaned again, she pulled her hand away.
Hudson opened his eyes, which were still topaz. “So very sweet. She was right.”
“My blood is sweet?” Christa whispered, “Is that good?”
“Very good.” Hudson said while forcing himself to fight the lust that was trying to control his body.
“Anna doesn’t seem to think it’s all that different.”
Hudson took a deep breath, “She is a baby. She did not realize.”
Trying to ignore the desire coursing through his body Hudson sat up straighter and looked into her eyes, “You Christa are Ingredior Utriusque.
Hudson smiled as his eyes returned to normal, “You are Ingredior Utriusque. That is the name we Healers have given your kind.”
“I don’t understand. I’m human nothing more.” Christa said shaking her head.
Hudson took a moment before answering, “Yes you are human, quite human but you are more. Ingredior Utriusque means you walk in both worlds.”
Christa was tried of being so confused, “Okay here is where you start explaining. What the hell does it mean, I walk in both worlds?”
“God you are feisty.” Hudson laughed. He saw the look of anger in his eyes so he quickly went on, “Your blood contains a trace of a very old Pure.”
“Yes, a very old Pure. The way it tastes is how we can recognize that fact. Your blood tastes like no others. It is so sweet.” As he said this his eyes flashed again.
“Okay, stop that.” Christa said scooting back slightly.
“I am sorry.” Hudson said knowing full well what she meant. “But I can’t control my reaction to your blood. It is like the finest wine. What you are is revered in the Healer world.”
“Just because it carries a trace of Pure blood? Why?”
“I am not sure how much you know so I will simply explain it all. Healers do not reproduce, we cannot. We also can not blood bind a pregnant mortal to us. If we exchange blood with a pregnant human our blood believes the fetus is feeding off the body so it destroys it.”
Christa nodded, “Yes, Claire explained that to me.”
Hudson nodded, “Yes, I have heard she is pregnant.”
“Right, that is why I convinced Anna it was a good idea to deepen our bond. I wanted to be able to take Claire’s place while she unable to care for Anna.”
“You convinced Anna.” Hudson repeated, “Amazing.”
“Why is that amazing?”
Hudson laughed, “Sweetheart no mortal should be able to convince a Healer of anything. That only proves more and more just what you are.”
Christa considered his words a moment then said, “Okay but to get back to what I am. So Healers can’t have blood bonds with pregnant women.”
Hudson nodded, “Correct. But by some fluke or perhaps Divine Intervention what can not happen, happens. An ancestor of yours did indeed become blood bound to a Pure while she was with child. That child, a child that should have died did not. The blood of the Pure infused with the blood of that child.”
“But wait.” Christa said still struggling to understand. “I don’t entirely get this. If I was blood bound to a Pure wouldn’t there be a trace of their blood in mine?”
“No.” Hudson said shaking his head, “The blood of a Healer never infuses with the blood of a mortal. We recognize blood ties only by smell not taste.”
“So since you taste the blood of a Pure in my blood…”
“You understand.” Hudson smiled, “You carry the blood of something amazing. You walk in both worlds.”
“But I’m still just a mortal.”
He reached for her hand to hold it tightly, “As I said your kind is revered by the Healers world. Only we know of your existence and how incredible that existence is. But you are wrong to say you are just a mortal. Tell me when you first met Anna what did you think?”
Christa smiled, “I sensed there was something different about her. I couldn’t explain it but I just knew. I even told her.” She frowned slightly, “But she tried to erase that discussion from my mind.”
Hudson nodded knowingly, “But she couldn’t completely erase it, could she?”
“No, I remembered and I knew what she’d tried to do.” Christa admitted.
“She couldn’t completely erase it from your mind because we can’t. Just another fact that makes you more than just an ordinary mortal. I do have to admit though that fact makes some Healers a bit nervous around a Ingredior Utriusque.”
“Because we are superior to mortals we don’t like it when we can’t control them.”
“So tell me how what I am will help Anna.” Christa said softly.
“You are truly concerned for her, aren’t you?” Hudson said giving her hand a tight squeeze.
“Yes, she’s my friend.” Christa answered knowing this time it was not the wrong answer.
“And you want with your whole heart to help her?” He asked slowly.
Christa nodded, “Yes.”
“Then you must trust that I want the same. She and Gerard are both dear to me.
“So what do we do?”
Hudson released her hand then sat back. “I believe the car wreck was no accident.”
“I think that too.” Christa said hurriedly, “Someone had tried to hurt Gerard before.”
“Yes, I know. I believe the accident was used to cause Anna pain and in turn that pain would also be Jacobs. She is his only child and he loves her in a way only a Maker and their child can feel. Whoever is behind this knew that no matter what Anna chose to do she would be hurt. If she had let him die she would have lost him forever. If she chose to turn him she would face dire consequences.” Hudson paused, “But what they did not and can never know is the pain Anna now feels is deep and crippling. She has lost the love Gerard had for her, that she had for him. Never again will he feel that human love for her. If he is allowed to become part of the Healer world he will love her as his Maker, nothing more.”
Tears appeared in Christa’s eyes, “But maybe he won’t be all Healer like Anna.”
Hudson reached out to wipe away one of her tears, “Like your existence is a fluke so is Anna’s. A wrong Healer is a very rare thing, A very dangerous thing. You do understand that if one other than those few you know were to find out she would be destroyed immediately?”
“I know.” Christa whispered. “I understand that.”
“The same would hold true for Gerard. If when he awakens he is wrong he will be destroyed.” He added sadly, “Anna will be ordered to destroy him.”
“She wouldn’t.” Christa cried.
“If she did not then Jacob would be ordered to destroy both of them.”
Christa lowered her head and allowed her tears to flow. “So what do we do?”
“We must try to convince the council to show mercy to Anna. What she did is very serious but if they believe she simply did it out of greed, out of her desire to keep her blood bound they may allow her to continue. It is my hope that she will come to understand that while she will never have the love Gerard once had for her she will still have him at her side.”
Hearing the true concern in Hudson’s voice made another thought come into her mind. “I believe you do care deeply for them because they are bound to you. Didn’t you feel it when the accident happened?”
“I knew something tragic had happened.” Hudson admitted, “I was not surprised at all when Katherine called me with the information. I was however surprised it was she who called. As a very old Pure the council should have informed me when this happened to my blood bounds. And believe me that is something I will address.”
The anger in his eyes made Christa shiver.
“So you are going to the inquiry?”
“We are going.” Hudson said watching her face closely to gauge her reaction.
“But I’m bound to her and she forbid me to go. I thought that if I did it would make it look like I wasn’t properly bound to her.”
“That would be true if you were simply a mortal.” Hudson said.
“So because I’m Ingredior Utriusque I can go and it’s okay?”
Hudson sighed, “Okay here comes that trust again. Christa, the fact that you are Ingredior Utriusque will play a very important part in this. But I do not want anyone to know your true nature until the time is right.”
“Okay, you lost me again, I don’t understand.”
Hudson thought a moment then said, “There is something else you can do, something I need for you to experience to completely understand. Will you trust me to show you?”
“Yes, I will trust you.” She answered knowing it was the right answer.
Hudson sat up and moved a bit closer to her. “I need you to take some of my blood. Not a lot, not enough to form a bond but it’s necessary for you to understand. Will you do that?”
“You want me to take your blood?”
“Yes, just a small amount then you will understand.”
“But I’ve taken Anna’s blood.” Christa said resisting the idea because she was confused.
“As I’ve said Anna is but a baby. She had no idea what you are or what you are capable of.”
“Just what am I capable of?”
Hudson lifted his arm and using his fingernail sliced a thin line on his wrist. Immediately blood beaded to the surface. “Take just a small amount and I will show you.”