Chapter Three

Wedding Plans

The door bell rings as Anna sits in the kitchen, drinking a glass of coffee. It wasn't unheard of for her kind to drink human liquids. Most preferred to add a little blood to the drink, but Anna liked the natural flavor, it kept her human. Anna stood and left the kitchen and headed to the front door. She was expecting Josephine to help set things up for the wedding. Anna was completely shocked by the fact that Alec had chosen her home as his place for the wedding. But after talking to Catherine again, she learned Alec didn't know Anna owned the home. All he knew was one of his kind owned it so he had requested permission.

Anna opened the door to an unfamiliar face. The women before her had long, shining blonde hair. Her eyes were the most shocking color of blue Anna had ever seen. The women was as beautiful as Catherine, maybe even greater so.

"You must be the owner of the home," said the women in a thick Spanish accent, which was awkward on account of her blonde hair and blue eyes. "I am Gabrielle, the bride." She held out her hand for Anna to shake. Anna slowly takes it and smiles.

"Hi, I'm Anna, please come in," Anna says and steps aside.

"Josephine will be here any minute now," Gabrielle says as she looks around the house. "Oh wow, it looks exactly like Alec described. Nothing has changed since you moved in?" She looks at Anna.

"Oh, yes well, I've always liked the days of old American homes. It felt comfortable the way it was. This house holds many memories for-"

"Alec, he grew up here as a child, did you know?" Gabrielle states.

"I heard," Anna says and nods.

"Do you know my Alec?" Anna flinches at the word 'my' but recovers quickly.

"Um, once or twice, but never formally," Anna lies. Might as well keep it as unawkward as possible, while she had the chance. "Will he be coming today to help with the arrangements?" Anna leads Gabrielle to the parlor.

"Not until dinner," she replies. "He is visiting an old friend right now. He isn't much into the romance of things." This shocked Anna. The entire time she knew Alec, he was the most romantic man she had ever met. Why had he changed?

"I see," Anna says. "So what made you two decide to take this leap?"

"I convinced him. We had been together for over fifty years; I thought it was about time." Anna raises an eyebrow. Fifty years? That was like five years in a human life. Of all those who made the bond that Anna had heard of, they had been together for over at least three hundred years. Gabrielle must be a newer fledgling.

"How old are you? If you don't mind me asking." Gabrielle smiles.

"I'm 749 year next month," she says. "I've been getting that a lot lately. I know of the risk I am taking, I have taken it many times before. This shall be my fifth marriage in three hundred years." Anna almost chokes on her cup of coffee.

"Fifth?" Anna stares at her in shock.

"Yes, I have been the only one who has stayed loyal in the marriages; the men seem to have a more difficult time in controlling themselves. They die, and I kill the bitch they cheat on me with. I believe Alec shall be different though, he has only loved one woman before me, and she was not what he expected. I am the perfect one for him." Anna flinches at the insult, though she knew Gabrielle hadn't intended it to be toward her.

"Ah, good, you are here Gaby. And you two have met!" Josephine says from the doorway. "Excellent, now, let's get this planning on the way, shall we?"

Anna was now in her room, freaking out. It was minutes before she had to be down to dinner with the entire council and Alec and Gabrielle's friends and family. She was scared to death of how Alec was going to react when he saw her. Anna walks to her balcony and looks up at the moon. The summer would gently tousles her hair and she can smell the perfume of the blossoms below. They always calmed her.

"My sweet blossom," Alec said as he wrapped his arm around her waist. Anna smiled and gazed into his eyes. The pink blossoms flew around them as they stood out in the garden, under the full moon.

"You know what they say about full moons?" Anna questions him.

"What do they say my love?"

"It's the time when the creatures of the night come out to wreck havoc. The time of madness," Anna says as she gazes at the moon.

"The full moon is the most beautiful creation of this world, besides you Anna, and it gives us creatures of the night madness, mad for love." Alec gently kisses Anna's neck and then her lips. Anna embraces him and soon their mad love fills the night.

"Anna, it's time, come now," Brendan says from the balcony arch way. Anna turns to her closest friend with sad eyes. Brendan takes her arm in his and kisses her head. "It will be fine Anna. You shall be my date tonight. Let him be envious of our false love." I smile at Brandan's plan and gently squeeze his arm. Brendan has loved her for years. He has tried to keep it from her, but Anna knows. She loves him back, but she doesn't think she'll ever be able to have a content relationship again. She has loved and lost too much in her years.

As we walk downstairs I try to calm my nerves. Images of her past with Alec continuously flash through her mind, not helping one bit. When they reach the dining room doors, she takes one final breath, and then enters. The busy talk around the table continues with out acknowledging Anna and Brendan. Anna scans the table for Alec, waiting to meet his bright eyes.

"Anna," a single voice flashes through her mind and instantly her eyes meet a pair of dark blue eyes. The eyes were hard and emotionless, much like Harlan's. Anna then realizes who she is looking at, Alec. His black hair is tied back in a short ponytail, and he is wearing a simple shirt and tie outfit. He looked nothing like Anna remembered. All of the light had fallen out of him. Anna quickly looks away to greet Catherine. Then as she sit, Catherine calls everyone to attention.

"Here is the owner of this home everyone, Anna-Marie Jam-" Anna coughs quickly, interrupting Catherine. Anna had never changed her last name after Alec left. They had had a mortal wedding all those years ago, so Alec's family could attend. It might be best if Gabrielle didn't know. "Anna-Marie." Anna waves at everyone and smiles.

"Anna has helped much with the plans! She even helped pick out my bouquet flowers, blue roses!" Gabrielle exclaims. Anna does not meet Alec's eyes again. Blue roses was the bouquet she carried at their mortal wedding.

And so dinner continues. Alec is asked questions about his old home, and Anna is asked why things haven't been changed. She sticks to her original lie, feeling Alec's eyes beating down on her the entire time. After dessert is finished, Anna excuses herself, and quickly leaves the room. She needed some fresh air. As she walks out the backdoor is exhales and leans against a garden post.

"If I had known you owned this house I would have never asked such a burden upon you," says a soft voice from behind. Anna turns to see Alec standing but only a foot behind her.

"It is no burden," Anna lies. "I am happy for you." She turns away and begins to walk the garden path. She hears Alec chuckle. It was a dark laugh, so different from what Anna remembered.

"According to Harlan, this is an extremely hard burden for you Anna," Alec says.

"You've spoken to Harlan?"

"Yes, we've been speaking for quite some time now. He is still very fond of you."

"Well that's only because he can't have me," Anna snaps. "Shouldn't you be in with your fiancé and friends? Won't they question where you are?" Alec shrugs.

"Let them question. I have some to talk to you Anna. It's been almost a hundred years. We have some catching up to do."

"The last you told me was that you never wanted to see me again. What happened to that?" Anna asks, turning to him.

"Times have changed Anna, I have moved on, like you. I don't see the harm in being friends, like we used to be."

"Our friendship turned into much more than that, and with the vow you will be making in a few days, more than friendship will kill you, and me," Anna says. She turns away from him, but with an instant he is in front of her.

"So it is true, you still love me?" Anna doesn't say anything at first, she just glares at him.

"I never stopped loving you Alec, you left me, remember?"

"Hm, I thought you'd move on pretty quickly, since you did so with Harlan," Alec says.

"I was with Harlan a long time before you, I did love him, but I fell out of love it long before you showed up. I just didn't have anyone else, so I stayed. I loved you Alec, I was going to leave with you. But when I made one little mistake you ran away. You did not give me time to explain myself."

"My loss I guess. But as I said, times have changed. Move on Anna. I am in love with Gabrielle now, and we are making the immortal bond. Friendship is all I can offer you."

"Then it's best you offer me nothing Alec. Maybe now that you have truly moved on, I can start taking the steps for myself to go in that same direction. But you are a distraction. Go have your marriage. But I must ask you, after this wedding, do not come back here. It is all I ask of you." Anna walks away from the silent Alec and hurries up to her room. She had gone through so much pain through the years with out him, and now that he was making the final decision, to make their broken relationship permanent, she couldn't handle seeing him. Not even for a second.