“Are you okay?” She asked turning from the window.
“Yeah, sure.” He began to nervously pace the room. “Have you seen Katherine?”
“She was here about twenty minutes ago.”
Hudson sighed, “Oh that’s just great. She’s not in her room.”
“Is something wrong?” Christa asked as she walked towards him.
Hudson ran a shaky hand over his handsome face. “I was just with Anna.”
At once Christa was excited. “You saw her? How she is?”
“Devastated.” Hudson said sadly. “But trying to hold on. I told her to grab on to that emotion you’re so fond of.”
Christa tilted her head. “Hope?”
“Yeah, that’s the one.” He said distractedly.
“Why are you so upset?” Christa moved closer. “Is there something I can do to help?”
Hudson groaned, “Oh good Lord woman don’t ask that.”
Christa was confused, “Why?”
He glared at her. “Okay let me spell this out for you. I had Anna feed from me. I know my blood will strengthen the Healer within.”
Suddenly Christa understood. “Oh.”
“Yeah, oh.” Hudson ground out. “And now I’m as horny as some damn schoolboy.” He was shocked when he saw Christa bite her bottom lip to keep from laughing. “You find this funny?”
She shook her head, “No, not really. I’m sorry.”
He sighed, “Look I get that you don’t understand.”
Christa spoke up quickly. “I do understand, Hudson. I’ve bonded so yeah, I understand the feeling that goes along with it.”
“Yeah but not really.” He said. “Yeah you know the feeling but what you don’t get is for me I don’t understand not wanting to have sex.”
“Because you don’t understand human love.” Christa said softly.
“Yep, that’s it. I don’t. But I knew by Anna’s way of thinking that sex with me was the last thing she needed right now.”
“That was very kind of you.” Christa smiled.
“I’m not feeling kind.” He started pacing again. “Not at all and that’s a problem for us.”
Christa stared at him. “For us?”
“Yeah because we need to bond again. Gerard will be waking soon and then it will all begin. I want to make sure our bond is deep enough especially with His Excellence in attendance.”
“Oh.” Christa said softly.
He took a deep breath. “It’s okay so stop looking like that.”
“Like you’re suddenly scared of me. I don’t like it.”
Christa stood taller. “I’m not afraid of you Hudson.” She thought a minute. “Is that what I’m supposed to call you? I heard them downstairs call you Marcus.”
“Marcus is my true name. But you can call me Hudson. As my blood bound from this life that is okay.”
“Okay then Hudson.” Christa said softly. “I’m not afraid of you. But I do feel badly I can’t help you with your problem.”
“Yeah, yeah because of that damn human love thing.”
Christa smiled, “Yes because I love Ray. If I didn’t I’ll be honest I’m pretty sure I’d be more than happy to help you out.”
He narrowed his eyes. “Because I’m Hudson Evans.”
She shook her head. “Is that what you really think? No, that’s not why. Yeah, you’re famous and ridiculously good looking but that’s not why.”
“Then why?” He challenged.
“Because the more I get to know you the more drawn I am to you as a person.” She told him honestly. “That’s why.”
“God it’s so weird having a blood bound mortal that I don’t control.”
Christa smiled, “But in a way isn’t it sorta nice? I mean even though we are bound and you don’t control my thoughts I like you.”
Hudson rolled his eyes. “Oh whatever.” Deep down inside what she said was very true but he didn’t want to admit it. “We need to bond. I promise I’ll behave.”
“I know you will.” Christa said softly. “Because I know that you like me too and that means a lot.”
He reached out and grabbed her hand. “Yeah I do and at the moment to be honest I wish I didn’t.” He led her over to bed but shook his head. “Nope too tempting.” Instead he walked over to the chair and took a seat. Pulling Christa down on his lap he sighed. “Let’s get this done.”
When he lifted his fingernail to his neck and slit a line on his skin Christa’s heart began to race. His blood called to her.
“Do it Sweetheart.” He said softly.
“Slowly she pressed her lips to the wound. She was surprised by the sound of the moan that escaped her lips.
Hudson closed his eyes fighting the hunger and lust that filled his body. For several minutes he let Christa feed until he knew it was time to pull away. When he saw the look in her eyes and the smile on her face he once more had to remind himself of his promise.
He brushed her hair back and pressed his lips against the soft skin of her neck. For a moment he considered stopping and not feeding. The bond would not be as strong but he was worried he would not be able to control the lust.
“It’s okay, Hudson.” Christa gently stroked his face. “I want this. I trust you.”
He gazed into her eyes. She had heard his thought. As he lowered his lips to her neck she entertained her fingers in his hair. When his fangs sank into her skin she smiled.
As Hudson fed he tried to let his mind go blank but it was impossible. It was hell to stop when he knew it was time. Retracting his fangs he kissed the wound to stop the bleeding. Then he looked into her eyes.
“You are beautiful.’ He whispered. “If only we could have met at a different time.”
Christa smiled sadly. “But we didn’t.”
“Uh, excuse me.” Katherine’s voice startled them both.
She walked in then closed the door. “It’s time. He is stirring. Thomas is calling for everyone to gather.”
Christa quickly got off Hudson’s lap. “Oh.”
“Come.’ Hudson said to Christa. “It is time for you to be my blood bound mortal.”
Katherine walked out first leaving them alone for just a minute.
“From this point on I have to change, you understand?”
Christa nodded, “I understand.”
“Listen to my thoughts, remain silent. It will help you understand our ways.”
Christa smiled slightly. “I am already listening to your thoughts. Please stop worrying about how I will feel about what is about to happen.”
He sighed, “Wish I could but you’ve gotten under my skin.”
Instead of answering Christa gave him a quick hug. “Hope” was the only word she said before releasing him.
When they reached Gerard’s room several people were already there. Christa glanced around quickly hoping to see Anna but was disappointed.
‘the council members’
She nodded ever so slightly so Hudson understood she had heard his thoughts. She followed Hudson to a spot to the right of the bed. Katherine stood beside them. It was hard for Christa not to flinch when she saw Gerard’s body lying on the bed. He was wearing a dark blue satin robe, his eyes were closed and he wasn’t breathing.
‘thomas the douche’
Her eyes turned from the bed to see the man Hudson was referring to walk through the door. He walked in the center of the room with an arrogant air.
“Where is his Maker?” He asked looking at Hudson.
“I assume she’ll be here shortly.” Hudson answered in an emotionless voice.
Thomas’s eyes fell on Christa. “I see you’ve brought your blood bound.”
“Of course. I enjoy having her with me.” Hudson answered moving to stand behind Christa so he could place his arms around her waist.
Christa leaned against him slightly and smiled.
At the same time another man walked into the room. Christa gazed at the handsome man somehow instinctively knowing it was Jacob.
“Where is your child?” Thomas said to him. “It is time.”
Christa wished Hudson would explain to her how they knew it was time because since arriving in the room she hadn’t seen Gerard move.
Jacob walked in, nodded to Hudson then moved to a spot to the left of the bed. Christa noticed for a minute as he walked by the council members his steps faltered but he held his head high.
“She has been informed?” He said turning to a striking woman with long blond hair.
The woman nodded, “Yes.” There was a hint of a British accent in her voice. “Jacob’s child has been informed it is time.”
“Then where is she?” Thomas said disgustedly.
“I am here.” Anna’s voice was strong but lacking emotion as she walked into the room. She did not acknowledge anyone as she walked directly over to the bed. No emotion showed on her face when she looked down at Gerard.
Christa felt Hudson’s arms tighten around her waist at the same moment Gerard’s eyes opened.
“Gerard.” Anna said.
Before she could utter another word Thomas spoke up. “You are aware what has happened?”
‘son of a bitch needs to shut up. He is interfering.’
In her head Christa could not only hear Hudson’s words she could feel his anger wash over her body.
Gerard sat up slowly. “Yes. I know.”
“And this was what you desired?” Thomas asked.
Christa saw the anger on Jacob’s face as he stood staring at the scene.
“It was my desire to be given the ultimate gift of the Healers.’ Gerard answered.
Christa tried not to let the lack of emotion in Gerard’s voice unsettle her but it was hard. He sounded almost like a robot. His voice was flat, his eyes looked dead. The man on the bed in no way resembled the Gerard she had known.
“Then continue.” Thomas said nodding to Anna.
Anna tilted her head. “I will do so if I am not interrupted again.”
There were several soft gasps from the council members. Christa was frightened until she heard Hudson’s voice.
‘good Anna. You are Jacob’s child do not let him forget it.’
Thomas’s eyes narrowed in anger but he simply nodded then stood back a few steps.
Anna turned to look at Gerard. “You must learn how to feed.”
He nodded slightly.
“Bring in the woman.” Thomas said turning to a man standing just inside the door.
A moment later a young woman with long black hair was brought into the room. Christa was shocked as she watched the man holding her arm drag her towards the bed. The woman’s eyes were wide and full of fear. However when she saw Gerard that fear turned to confusion.
‘son of a bitch got someone who recognizes him’
Christa brought her hands up to place him on Hudson’s arms. She gave them a light squeeze so he understood she too knew this was a bad thing.
Gerard stood as the woman was brought near. “Hello.” He said smiling.
“I know who you are.” The woman stuttered. “What is going on? Why am I here?”
“Look into her eyes, Gerard.” Anna said. “Ease her concerns.”
Gerard never glanced at Anna he simply put out his hand. The young woman blinked still fearful.
“It’s okay.” Gerard said softly. “I’m not going to hurt you.” His fingertip tilted her head so that their eyes met. “Trust me.”
The woman blinked again then suddenly her whole body relaxed.
Christa understood before Hudson could think it…Gerard had used glamour on the woman.
“Let’s sit.” Gerard smiled.
The woman smiled. “Okay.” In her mind there was now no one else in the room only herself and Gerard.
“You’re very beautiful.” Gerard said reaching out to stroke her hair.
“Thank you.” She whispered still staring into his eyes.
Gerard smiled, “I want you.” He said softly.
“Yes.” The woman answered. “Oh yes.”
Slowly Gerard pushed the silk rob from her body exposing her naked body. He then stood, lifted her body as if it was weightless and placed her in the center of the bed.
It tore at Christa’s heart to watch this. No longer were her eyes on Gerard and the woman but on Anna. She saw that Anna was standing beside the bed watching the scene unfold without blinking, without breathing, Christa had never seen her look more dead then she did at this moment.
Gerard had pushed his own robe off his body then positioned his body over the woman’s. His lips latched onto her breast and the woman moaned with pleasure.
‘I am sorry.’ Hudson’s voice whispered in her head.
Christa gently squeezed his arm again letting him know she knew he understood how hard it was for her to watch.
Gerard continued to suckle the woman’s breast while his hand dipped down to caress her swollen nub. Her body responded to his touch and she moaned loudly.
“That’s right, Sugar.” Gerard crooned.
It took every ounce of willpower Anna possessed not to flinch when he called the woman ‘sugar’.
Pure lust was driving Gerard as he moved his rock hard penis into position while allowing his lips to travel from her breast up to her neck. The woman flinched but only for a moment when his fangs sank into her neck and he buried himself deeply inside her.
Anna stood completely still waiting. When she understood it was time she said in a strong voice. “Listen to her heartbeat. As is begins to slow so must your feeding.”
Gerard began to thrust harder into the body beneath his. At the moment her heartbeat slowed he exploded inside her. He tore his mouth away from her neck.
“Heal the wound.” Anna instructed.
Gerard’s head fell to her neck again and he licked the would stopping the blood flow. He pulled himself out of the woman then sat up on the side of the bed.
“Very good.” Anna nodded. “Now you must make sure she remembers none of this.”
Gerard turned back the woman whose eyes were now closed. “Look at me.” He commanded.
Her eyes opened.
“You will remember none of this. This did not happen.”
Thomas stepped forward. “Good.” He said his eyes flashing, his fangs extended.
Christa’s body slightly shuddered as she cast a quick glance around the room and saw that all of the Healers now had topaz eyes.
‘I am so sorry. Forgive me’
Christa immediately understood his plea. His need was pressing against her. She turned her head slightly to gaze into his topaz eyes.
“Remove the woman.” Thomas commanded.
The same man who had brought her in the room reached down, grabbed the naked woman’s arm then led her from the room.
“Your child did well.” Thomas said to Anna.
“Of course.” Anna answered shortly.
Because of their bond Christa could tap into Anna’s thoughts. It was painful. Anna’s mind was crying out for all she had lost.
“Gerard your Maker must stand before the council for her actions. As her child you must stand with her.”
“I understand.’ Gerard nodded.
“The inquiry will begin in twenty minutes.” Thomas said loudly. He turned to one of the men by the door. “Please see Annabelle back to her room until it is time.”
Anna lifted her head as she walked past Thomas. She never once glanced Christa’s way.
As soon as they were in the safety of their room Christa broke down in tears. Hudson cradled her body to his as she sobbed.
“Oh my God.” Christa cried. “Anna.” She couldn’t find words to describe the pain Anna was feeling.
“I know.’ Hudson murmured against her hair. “I know.”
“But it’s not just pain.” Christa sobbed. “She’s dead inside.”
“She did well.” Hudson reminded her softly. “She did what she had to do.”
“This is all so wrong.”
He gently pushed her back still keeping his arms around her. “It is our way. None of them can know about Anna’s pain. If they had seen it, if she had faltered it would all be over.”
“I’m sorry.” Christa said swiping at her eyes. “This is all just so hard. Gerard isn’t Gerard anymore.”
“He is a Healer now.” Hudson reminded her. "Devoid of most human emotions.”
“Devoid of love.” Christa whispered.
“He still loves her as his Maker.” Hudson said hoping somehow that fact would soften the truth.
“It’s not what she wanted.” Christa said sadly.
“But it is what they now have.” Hudson released Christa then moved towards the windows. He stood staring out lost in thought.
Katherine knocked on the door then entered quickly. Christa saw that her eyes like Hudson’s were still topaz. “How are you doing?” She asked Christa.
Christa looked down. “Not so well.”
Katherine looked over at Hudson who had not turned from the window. “I’m sorry this is so difficult for you. I really do try to understand how you feel.”
Christa understood that Katherine had no idea her grief was for Anna’s true feelings.
“I hope he arrives soon.” Hudson sighed.
Katherine moved across to stand beside him. “It pisses me off that Thomas is holding the inquiry so soon. There is no reason to rush this.”
“There is for Thomas.” Hudson sighed, “He is enjoying the power but my appearance bothers him. I can sense he’s afraid I will do something to ruin his little show.”
“What will we do if they pass judgment on Anna before His Excellence arrives?" Katherine asked softly.
Christa walked over to them. “What exactly does that mean?”
Hudson and Katherine exchanged a look that made Christa’s heart drop.
"This inquiry has two parts.” Hudson explained, ‘It serves two purposes. They will decide if they will welcome Gerard into the Healer world. I know the fact of who he is will play a big part in this. Of course I will point out that I have no problem being well known in the moral world.”
"But of course they will say that is because you are a Pure.” Katherine said.
“Yeah, well then as a Pure my words and opinion should mean something.” Hudson said angrily.
“And the second part is about Anna.” Christa said, “I understand that but why are you both so worried they will pass judgment quickly?”
Hudson could not hide the truth from her. “There is no doubt of Anna’s guilt. She broke our law. However if this council wasn’t run by Thomas I think they would show her leniency, especially because she is Jacob’s child.”
“But Thomas hates Jacob, doesn’t he?” Christa asked softly.
“Yeah, seems as if he does.”
“So what will they do to Anna?” Christa whispered.
“If they chose they can order her death immediately.”
‘What?” Christa tried not to believe the words she was hearing.
“Christa.” Hudson said softly. “Within a few hours it will all be over. Anna will either be granted leniency or she will be destroyed. The same goes for Gerard.” Her tears caused him to look away. “I am sorry.” He whispered.