Anna and Gerard share news with their friends. Christa returns home but is trouble by thoughts she doesn't understand.
Katherine smiled, “He and Christa did leave.”
“But you have remained.” Anna said slowly wondering why the Pure hadn’t gone with the others.
Katherine stood up and walked towards them. She tilted her head looking at Gerard closely. Nervously Anna tightened her grip on his hand.
“Well now.” Katherine said turning around to look back at Jacob who was seated behind his desk. “I do believe by the smile I saw on Anna’s face when she first walked in that she is very pleased with the way her child was turned.”
Jacob stood and rounded his desk. “Annabelle is this true?”
Like Gerard, Anna was unsure if the truth should be discussed in front of Katherine. “Yes, I am pleased.” She answered quietly.
Katherine laughed, “Still not sure about me, are you?”
Anna looked at Jacob for guidance and saw that he was smiling. “You are free to speak the truth. Katherine understands much.”
“Much?” Anna repeated. “She understands about me?”
“And me.” Jacob said softly. “She knows the truth, that your Maker is wrong.”
Katherine sighed dramatically. “Would you two stop with the ‘wrong” thing, please.”
“As a Pure you know we speak the truth.” Jacob said sadly.
“As a Pure I only know what I believe.” Katherine said reaching out to touch his arm gently. “I believe you and your child are a credit to the Healer world.” She looked back at Gerard. “And I’m sure Gerard will be also.”
Gerard relaxed causing a smile to come to his face. “I will be.”
Anna released his hand then moved to embrace Jacob. “I am so sorry I never realized the truth.” She whispered.
He returned her hug. “I did not want you to recognize that truth. The fatal flaw you carry is because of me.”
“Oh, no one is flawed.” Katherine said. “At least I don’t think so.”
Jacob smiled at the Pure who he found himself being more and more attracted to. “Thank you for that. However all of us in this room know we must hide the truth.”
“For now.” Katherine said slowly. “But it my hope in time that will not be the case.”
“It has been that way for so long.” Jacob said softly.
“True.” Katherine nodded. “Yet times change, even for immortals. I believe the fact that His Excellence placed you in charge of the council gives us all hope. It is obvious he holds you in high regard.”
Anna moved back to stand beside Gerard. He slipped his arm around her.
“Come let us get comfortable.” Jacob said.
Anna and Gerard moved to the sofa and were seated. Jacob nodded to the wing back chairs waiting for Katherine to be seated before taking his seat.
“Gerard how many of your former human emotions have you retained?” Jacob asked.
Gerard sighed, “All of them. Mentally I don’t think I’m any different than before.”
“However physically you are.” Katherine said joining the conversation.
“Yeah, I know.” Gerard said slowly feeling guilt wash over him. His new strength had hurt Anna and it would be a very long time before he could forgive himself for that.
“Your situation will be more difficult that it was for Annabelle.” Jacob said with a frown. “Because you are being granted your wish to continue on with your present life you will be forced to play the part of a Healer pretending to be mortal. Believe me I am sure you will be watched closely.”
Anna nodded, “Yes, it will be difficult.” She said sadly. “Since I had no mortal family when I was turned I never had to pretend in that fashion. I simple spent my time pretending to be a correct Healer.”
Jacob nodded, “And when the time comes to leave the life you now lead…”
Gerard smiled sadly, “Not gonna lie. I know it will be difficult to leave my friends and family.” He placed his arm around Anna. “But as long as Anna is at my side we’ll help each other through it.”
“You are a good actor.” Katherine said getting back to the original topic. “When you awakened I truly believed you had been turned correctly.”
“I did what I knew I had to do.” Gerard said softly tightening his arm around Anna. “I knew I couldn’t show any human emotion.”
Katherine was intrigued, “But do you also feel Healer emotions?”
Gerard nodded, “Oh hell yeah, the blood lust for sure.”
“That is something you must learn to control quickly.” Jacob said.
“Yeah, I know.” Gerard answered looking down.
Jacob and Katherine both understood something had happened by his body language but did not question him.
“I have full faith in Annabelle.” Jacob said smiling at his child. “She will school you well.”
“Because I was schooled well.” Anna answered smiling at Jacob.
Katherine sat back frowning. “I can’t begin to imagine having so many emotions to deal with.” She paused, “But in a way I do envy all of you.”
Jacob gave her a surprised look. “You do?”
She nodded looking deeply into his eyes. “I think I would like to know what human love feels like.”
Gerard laughed, “It is wonderful but believe me it can be scary.”
Anna smiled. “He is correct. It can be both but the pure beauty of it is indescribable.” She noticed Katherine and Jacob were still staring at each other. “I still do not understand why you remained behind.”
Katherine tore her gaze from Jacob. “Well, there is a new council that must be formed.”
“I am glad you offered your services.” Anna said honestly. “Knowing how you have always viewed Healer politics that was very unselfish of you.”
“Unselfish?” Katherine laughed, “No not at all.” She looked once again into Jacob’s eyes. “The truth is I was glad it gave me a reason to stay.”
Jacob smiled slowly. “You need only to have said you wished to stay.”
Katherine smiled, “Really?”
“Of course.” Jacob nodded. “A beautiful woman wanting to stay….”
“Jacob, I am sure there are many beautiful women who have wanted to be at your side.”
“But none who I wanted.” He answered softly, “Until now.”
Christa unlocked her front door. “It really wasn’t necessary for you to drive me home. I know you have to get back to Paris.” She said nervously. The whole flight back to New York she’d spent alone. Hudson had disappeared to his private suite in the back of the plane.
Hudson sighed, “Yeah, I do. But still I wanted to make sure you got home safe and sound. Uh, sorry about the flight but I had some stuff I had to take care of.”
Christa knew he was lying. It angered him that she knew his words were a lie.
“Thank you for everything.” She said softly moving just inside the door.
Hudson took a step towards her. “Shit.” He couldn’t stop himself from pulling her into his arms. “Don’t thank me.”
It was hard for Christa who was not only hearing the words he said but the words in his mind. “Hudson.” She whispered.
“Yeah, you can hear what I’m thinking.” He said hugging her tightly. “Don’t worry I’m not gonna do anything you don’t want.”
“I can hear your thoughts. I hear what you want but more than that I hear the truth. You won’t do anything I would consider wrong, that is what I’m thanking you for.” She paused then added, “Because you know the physical temptation is hard for me too.”
His hands stroked her back. “Not as hard for you as it is for me. That mortal you’re with is one lucky son of a bitch.”
“He has my heart.” Christa whispered. Her words caused Hudson to release her and move a step back.
“And my Pure blood wants me to change that.”
“But you won’t.” Christa smiled slightly. “Because of the way you feel towards me.”
"Yeah, well you’re the only mortal I’d act like this for. Too many years of simply taking what I want I suppose.” He ran a hand through his hair. “Take care of yourself, Ingredior Utriusque.” He brushed past her then out the door.
He stopped but didn’t turn around.
“You will always hold a special place in my heart.”
Hudson smiled to himself without turning.
Christa watched his car until it was out of sight then closed the door.
“Oh Anna.” Claire’s heart caught when she heard her voice. “Are you well?” She’d been beside herself with worry, hating that she had no idea what was happening.
“Is Bob with you?”
“Yes.” Claire smiled over at her husband.
“Then we will talk later. Just know that the most wonderful thing has happened. Gerard and I have been given permission to return to the lives we now lead.”
“How is he?” Claire asked carefully knowing Anna would understand the true meaning of the question.
“Gerard and I are the same.” Anna answered as her true love smiled at her from across the room.
“I am so very happy.” Claire said with tears appearing in her eyes. “So very happy.”
Anna told her one more bit of news before telling Claire she loved her and would see her soon.
Claire disconnected then set her phone down.
“Hun, what’s wrong?” Bob sat down beside her.
“Nothing is wrong.” Claire smiled swiping at her tears. “I am happy.”
“Okay.” Bob said slowly. “Happy tears. Why?”
“Anna and Gerard have married.” She said hearing Anna’s voice as she explained the paperwork for the marriage was being supplied complements of the Healers network.
“They did?” Bob was shocked. “Wow, does Mikey know?”
“Anna said Gerard was preparing to call him.”
“Well I’m glad.” Bob said hugging his wife. “I’m a fan of this marriage thing.”
Claire was so happy she felt giddy. “Are you now?” She teased.
“Sure am.” Bob dropped a quick kiss on her lips. “Best thing I ever did was talking you into marrying me.”
“You did not have to talk me into it.” Claire said. She brushed her lips against his. “I love you so much.”
“Ditto.” Bob said just before his lips crashed down on hers.
“Gee.” Mikey sat down heavily on the sofa next to Alicia. She immediately muted the television. “Why the hell haven’t you been answering your phone?”
Gerard knew his brother had been worried and for that he was sorry. “Well I’ve been sorta busy.” He tightened his hold on Anna’s hand. “Getting married and all.”
“What?’ Mikey screamed into the phone.
Gerard laughed, “Got myself married.”
“Holy fuck.” He quickly told Alicia.
“Hey, I told her they weren’t supposed to run off and get married without us being there.” Alicia complained.
Gerard heard his sister-in-laws words. “Tell her it’s my fault. I talked Anna into marrying me and wanted to get it done before she could change her mind.”
“Crap.” Alicia grouched, “Let me talk to my new sister-in-law.”
Gerard handed to phone to Anna.
Mikey got the phone pulled from his hand by Alicia.
“Okay, sis-in-law what’s the meaning of getting married without me and Mikey at your side?”
Anna laughed, “Well Gee rushed me into it.” Anna lied happily. “I told him we should wait but he would not hear of it.”
“Shit, I’m so happy for you.” Alicia said warmly. “Welcome to the family.”
“Thank you.” Anna replied as Gerard nuzzled her neck.
“So I guess your uncle must like him?”
“Jacob is very fond of Gerard.” Anna answered trying to fight the growing waves of desire Gerard’s lips were causing. He stopped long enough to whisper in her ear.
“Oh Gerard wants me to ask that you do not tell Donna. We are going to tell her ourselves when we visit her in a few days.”
“That’s cool.” Alicia said. “Can’t wait to see you guys.”
“We will be returning the day after tomorrow.” Anna said trying to concentrate on the conversation not Gerard’s touch. It was a losing battle., “But for now I must go. My husband requires my attention.”
The laugh from Gerard tickled her neck.
“I’m sure he does.” Alicia laughed. “Well you two take care. See yeah soon.”
Mikey frowned as she disconnected. “Hey I wanted to talk to Gee.
Alicia grinned, “Uh Honey, those two newly married people don’t have talking on their minds.” She crawled into his lap. “Want me to show you what they were thinking about?” She asked as she nuzzled his neck.
Mikey hugged her to him. “Yeah, why don’t you do that.”
Anna threw the phone down on the bed. “Mr. Way I was trying to have a phone conversation.”
He licked the soft skin just below her ear. “Oh really? Well I can stop if you’d like.”
Falling back on the bed Anna smiled, “No, that is okay. I have disconnected.” Suddenly her happiness bubbled over. “Oh, my.”
Gerard looked into her eyes. “Oh, my?”
“I just realized I referred to you as my husband. Oh Gee, I can not believe it. We truly are husband and wife.”
Gerard grinned, “Yep, Mrs. Way that’s true. Except for us there is not “till death do us part.”
Anna suddenly became serious. “Gee are you truly sure this is what you wanted?” She whispered.
“Oh Sugar, I’m sure. I love you Annabelle Way."
“I love you too.” Anna said caressing his cheek with her fingertip. “Forever and ever.”
Christa placed the phone on the table, a smile covering her face. It has been hard at first when Alicia had called to pretend she was in the dark about everything. While it was true she knew Gerard and Anna were happy she hadn’t known they had been given permission by the council to marry.
Ray’s voice started her. Quickly she got up and walked into the other room. “What are you doing home early?” She asked him.
He gave her a huge smile, “Kinda missed my wife.”
Christa ran to him. Throwing her arms around Ray she hugged him tightly. “I missed you too.”
He laughed, “Hey, I gotta take a quick shower then we can discuss who missed who more.”
“Sounds good.” Christa agreed.
She watched as Ray moved towards the bedroom carrying his duffle bag. Suddenly a vision of Hudson filled her mind and sadness filled her heart. Instinctively she knew she would never again spend time alone with him. Never again would they be free to speak honestly with each other.
“Hey Babe, wanna join me?” Ray yelled out over the sound of the shower.
Blinking back a tear Christa smiled, “Be right there.” She stood a moment trying to gain control of her emotions. Trying to understand why the number fourteen kept repeating over and over in her mind.
The years passed…….
It was exactly fourteen years since Christa had stood in her living room trying to understand…..