Forever and Ever continued....
Katherine laughed, “It’s my favorite part.”
Once they were in the air Hudson asked the women to join him towards the rear of the plane. A beautiful young woman, Christa immediately sensed was a blood bound human, served them champagne.
“Thanks darling.” Hudson said to her. “I’ll give you a call if we need anything else.”
She smiled then walked towards the cockpit.
Katherine laughed, “He always surrounds himself with such pretty, young mortals.” She said to Christa.
Hudson grinned, “Suppose that’s true. Now there is something I need to discuss with both of you.” He took a sip from his fluted crystal glass then went on. “I’ve called in a very old favor to help Anna. Someone will be arriving at Jacob’s that will fuck with Thomas’s reality.”
“Who’s Thomas?” Christa asked quickly wanting to understand everything that was happening.
Katherine, because she knew the answer to that question, posed one of her own. “Who did you call?”
Hudson smiled, “First to answer Christa’s question. Thomas is the Healer who is in charge of the inquiry. He is the head council member.”
“Yeah, yeah.” Katherine said sounding bored. “He’s a douche.”
Hudson laughed, “Well put. He is a douche.”
Christa looked confused. “You can call another Healer a douche?”
“Of course we can.” Katherine sniffed. “Just because Thomas is a Pure doesn’t make him any less a douche.” She rolled her eyes. “And he’s a young douche on top of it.”
“He’s a young Pure?” Christa asked. “How young?”
Hudson and Katherine looked at each other. “I dunno.” Katherine said trying to remember. “He’s probably just over six hundred, I think.”
Hudson nodded, “Yeah that’s about right.” He knew Christa was trying desperately to understand everything so he explained. “Sweetheart just because one is a Pure doesn’t mean they can’t be a douche. Thomas is one of those Pures who thinks he is superior to everyone and that includes other Healers.”
“So why is he the head council member?” She asked.
“Politics.” Katherine said with disdain.
Hudson nodded. “Yep. The Healer’s politics really ain’t that different from mortal’s politics. I’m not saying all politicians are bad but you have to know a great many people go into that field because they enjoy the power. Thomas is one who enjoys power.”
“So he was elected?” Christa asked.
This time it was Katherine who explained. “Yes, he was but by the Pures who chose to deal with the politics of the Healers. Many of us want nothing to do with that.”
Hudson sighed, “Because many of us, the older Pures, remember a time when there was only one council, one ruler.”
“It was a better time.” Katherine said softly.
Hudson laughed, “And how would you know that? You aren’t that old, Love.”
She glared at him. “I have heard from those older than me. Our world was better then.”
He nodded sadly, “Yeah, it was. Now we are forced to deal with Pures like Thomas who believe they have the right to judge us.”
“And they do have that right.” Katherine said angrily. She turned to Hudson. “So who did you contact that will fuck with Thomas’s little council?”
Hudson sat back and smiled. “Come now Katherine you know there is only one who could truly do that.”
She frowned. “Some one from the senior council?”
“Someone from the senior council could overrule Thomas of course but that wasn’t good enough for me.”
Katherine’s eyes grew wide. “His Excellence? Oh Good Lord, are you saying you actually spoke to him?” Before Hudson could answer she continued, “You actually know him?”
Christa was watching the interaction not knowing what to think.
Hudson nodded, “Yes, I spoke to His Excellence. He will be at Jacob’s this afternoon.”
“Oh holy shit.” Katherine exploded. “Why didn’t you tell me before now? What will I wear?”
“Excuse me.” Christa cut in. “But who is His Excellence?”
Both Pures turned to stare at her.
“I’m sorry but I don’t understand.” Christa whispered.
Hudson smiled. “It’s okay. We know you don’t.”
“How do you know him?” Katherine asked.
“I met him centuries ago during a bad time in history. Let’s just say he gave me permission to call on him if I needed his wisdom. But even with that I’m not quite sure he would have agreed to step in to this matter if it had not been for the fact that Anna is Jacob’s child.”
“Jacob knows him too?” Katherine said in awe.
Hudson nodded, “Yes, they go back even further.”
“Holy shit.” Katherine said again. “Now I’m even more excited to meet Jacob.”
“Uh, hello?” Christa was becoming nervous. “Would someone please explain to me what’s going on?”
“There is only one Pure known to exist who is old than His Excellence but she hasn’t been seen or heard from since the late seventh century. So no Pure is really sure she still walks this earth. However we do know of His Excellence. Some say he is as old but he still has limited contact with the Pures. Because he had been on this earth so long he is revered. His judgment on any issue is the final say.”
“Does he have a name?” Christa asked innocently.
“No one would call him by any other name but His Excellence.” Hudson said softly.
“And you know him.” Katherine said shaking her head. “And you never told me.”
“Love, there are lots of things I’ve never told you.” Hudson smiled. “I am mysterious.”
“And now I’m really scared.” Christa admitted softly.
Hudson turned to her. “There are things I need to explain to you. His Excellence does not deal with mortals. He surrounds himself with very old Pures.”
Katherine spoke up. “That’s true. There would be no way you could have her at your side if she wasn’t Ingredior Utriusque.”
“True.’ Hudson nodded. “But because she is I’m sure His Excellence will allow her presence.”
“Did you tell him about her?” Katherine asked.
“No. I want no one to know that until the time is right.”
Christa nervously glanced at both of them. “Uh, okay now I’m really scared.”
“You have nothing to fear.” Hudson said kindly. “I’ve told you what you are is very special in our world. But you must show the respect His Excellence demands. Do not look him in the eye unless he commands it. You will stand at my side quietly until you are asked to speak.”
Christa nodded. “Okay.”
“Just remember that until I reveal what you are you must make them all believe you are nothing more than a blood bound mortal.”
Again she nodded but her stomach was churning.
From his room Jacob could see the cars arriving at his estate. A part of him knew he should be downstairs greeting the council members yet he could not make himself do so. This morning he had tapped into Anna’s emotions and what he felt had crippled him. She had given up. He knew in his heart she was just going through the motions in hopes of keeping him safe.
He turned when there was a knock on the door. “Yes?”
The door opened and Jacob was shocked to see Hudson enter.
“Hello, old friend.” Hudson said closing the door behind him.
“I did not know you would be here.” Jacob said softly.
“I suppose you were not allowed to call me?” Hudson guessed.
“Thomas forbid it.” The anger in Jacob’s voice was clear. “But he assured me you had heard.”
“He’s such a little bitch.” Hudson said shaking his head. “And the way I heard was from Katherine.”
“How did Katherine know?”
“Anna’s blood bound Christa called her.”
“Oh.” Jacob crossed the room. “You do know Annabelle forbid her blood bounds from being involved in all of this?”
Hudson nodded, “Yes I know. However you need to be aware Christa is here.”
Jacob glanced at he closed door nervously.
“We are alone.” Hudson said. “I made it clear I wished to speak to you privately.”
“Why have you brought her here? It will upset Annabelle.”
“I have my reasons. And yes, I know Thomas is aware that Anna didn’t want Christa involved but since the woman is now blood bound to me I had every right to bring her with me.”
“You bound her to you? Why?”
“Again, I have my reasons. Now tell me have you seen Anna?”
Jacob sat down in an overstuffed chair. “Once since Thomas arrived.” He sighed, “But she is so lost.”
“You feel it?”
“Yes.” Jacob’s nodded. “She has given up. Knowing she has lost the love she and Gerard once shared has killed her inside.”
Hudson sat down across from him. “I will speak to her.”
“It will not matter.” Jacob said. “Nothing matters to her now.”
“We can’t let her give up.” Hudson said softly. “She must understand that he will still be at her side.”
“Only if she is allowed to go on.” Jacob reminded him. “And if Gerard is allowed to continue as a Healer. I fear the council will decide that because he was a human who was well known to their kind they will not allow it.”
“Hey, he’s a recording artist like me.” Hudson grinned. “It’s not a problem in today’s world.”
“Not for a Pure but for a newly turned?”
Hudson shrugged. “I will convince them that I will take him under my wing if necessary.”
“It may be necessary.” Jacob said sadly. “Because even if they allow Annabelle to continue on and welcome Gerard into the Healer world it is my fear Annabelle will not want to stay with him.”
“As his Maker it’s her duty.” Hudson said.
“Yes, that is true.” Jacob said. “A true Healer would understand that.”
Hudson understood what Jacob was saying. “She must be a true Healer, Jacob.” He stood. “Now I will go speak to her and make sure she understands that. But before I go there is something I have to tell you so you’re not caught off guard.”
Jacob listened to Hudson’s words with a heavy heart. As much as he’d believed things could not get worse, they had.
Christa sat down on the bed and glanced around nervously. Since arriving at Jacob’s estate she was having trouble controlling her nerves. Never before had she found herself surrounded by Healers. And when she and Hudson had been shown to the same bedroom her nervousness had only increased.
A knock on the door pulled her from her thoughts.
“Hey.” Katherine said walking in then closing the door. “How are you doing?”
“I’m okay.” Christa lied.
Katherine laughed, “You look like a deer caught in the headlights. Try to calm down.”
“Kinda hard to do.”
“I suppose it is.” Katherine sat down next to her on the bed. “But you really need to remember to try to appear calm. No one else noticed but when they said they would show you and Hudson to this room your eyes about popped from your head.”
“I had no idea we’d be staying in the same bedroom.” Christa sputtered.
“As his blood bound they just assumed you were with him for his pleasure.” Katherine explained. “Besides if all goes well I doubt we will be staying here tonight. Hudson is supposed to be on tour and he should get back.”
“Will it all go well?” Christa whispered. “And where’s Anna? I can feel her and she’s so lost.” Tears appeared in her eyes. “I just want to go to her.”
“You can’t.” Katherine said shaking her head. “But remember you’re here to help her.”
“Oh my, you are in a bad way.” Hudson said placing his arms around Anna as she stood staring out the window.
Anna was startled. “Marcus I did not hear you come in.”
“I know.” He said tightening his arms around her. “You are oblivious to the world around you.”
“Because I have no world anymore.” Anna whispered.
Hudson turned her around to face him but did not loosen his hold. “Stop that right now. Open your mind Anna you are surrounded by those you care deeply for you. Can’t you feel it? One of your blood bounds is here.”
Anna’s eyes grew wide. “What?”
“Christa. She’s here at the estate.”
“No.” Anna pushed against him trying to free herself from his hold. “No, I forbid her from becoming involved in this.”
Hudson shocked her by leaning down and kissing her lips. He spoke softly against them. “My will supersedes yours. She is now also my blood bound.”
“Damn you.” Anna spat pulling her head away. “Why have you done this to her?”
“What I have done, I’ve done for you and Gerard.” He explained. “Tell me didn’t you notice anything different about her blood?”
Anna forced her mind to work. “Yes, it is different. I had intended to speak to Jacob about the matter.”
Hudson smiled, “Yes, it is defiantly different but because you are so young you didn’t recognize its importance.”
“What are you saying?”
“All in good time. I am here to make sure you remember what you must do. Everything I have done to try to help you will be in vain if you do not remember who you are.”
Anna sighed, “Yes I understand. For years I have pretended to play my part. I know what I must do. And I will do so to keep Jacob safe.”
“And Gerard.” Hudson added.
Tears once more filled her eyes. “I should have let him die.” She whispered.
“That would not have been what he wanted.” Hudson said gently stroking her back. “You know that. He wanted to be at your side for all time.”
“And it was what I wanted.” Anna whispered. “But not like this. I can not bear it. The love we shared is gone.” She let a stay tear roll down her cheek. “I just wanted so badly to believe a miracle could happen.”
Hudson understood perfectly. “You wanted to believe that he could be turned like you.”
“Yes, but now I realize how stupid that thought. Now I pray he was turned correctly.”
“Because when he awakens if he is not correct he will be destroyed immediately.” Hudson said softly.
“Yes they will demand I destroy him.” She looked into Hudson’s eyes. “I am afraid I could not do it and then I will bring even more shame upon Jacob because they will see the truth about me.”
“Annabelle as much as this pains me to say I want you to grab on to a human emotion. Christa talked about it and I’ll admit at the time I scoffed but I can see now you need it. You need to grab on to hope.”
“But what do I hope for?” Anna said laying her head down against his chest.
“You hope that you find the strength to do what you must.” Hudson whispered. “That is what you must hope for.” He hugged her tightly. “Now there is something else you must do.”
Anna lifted her head to look into his eyes.
“I want you to take some of my blood.”
She shook her head. “No, I do not require it.”
“I didn’t say you required it.” Hudson smiled, “I said it was something I wanted you to do. My blood will give you strength. It will help you face this.”
“It will help me be more like a true Healer.” Anna said sadly.
Hudson stepped back then used his finger to tilt her head up. “Annabelle you are a Healer. You must never forget that.”
She nodded. “I know.”
He removed his finger from under her chin then took her hand. Slowly he led her over to the bed where he sat down then pulled her down into his lap. Cradling her like a child he spoke in a gently tone. “Drink and let my blood nourish you.”
Anna sighed. “Thank you for all you have done.”
“Hey.” Hudson smiled, “I’m just a greedy guy. You know how I feel about you and Gerard. I want you both to go on so you can be with me.”
“I believe there is more to it than that.” Anna said looking into his eyes.
“That we will not discuss.” Hudson said. “Now drink.”
As Anna’s fangs sank into his neck he was reminded of Christa’s words. She had looked into his soul and saw something he’d never dreamed another would see. That fact still frightened him.