Anna huddled on the back seat of the rental van as they drove to the airport. As much as she enjoyed the exhilaration of speeding down the road and weaving through traffic, her heart was not in it and she had tossed the keys to Simon before getting into the back. She was sure the other noticed but they said nothing. Some were thinking about Hipflask and Happy Hour and what happened to them; others, well who knows what goes through the minds of vampires at times like this. Anna was worried about Hipflask, especially Hammer, but the words the Great White Mouse said to her haunted her and her quest to find the Mouse Codex before Pentex or the Black Spiral Dancers could. His words opened up a flood gate of emotion that she thought she had buried.
“You have always known mice.”
Those words made her think of the home and the situation she escaped from all those years ago. Anna thought back to where she grew up. Nothing stuck out to her that would make her think about mice. The only thing that kept coming to here was the abuse she suffered at the hands of her father and the cult that call itself a church that she was raised in. Memories of her father abusing her mother and the cult leader using her as a whore for the last few years of her short life. Anna never hated her mother for committing suicide. She always believed that her mother was the lucky one, at least her pain ended. If Anna had not gotten out when she did she might have followed in her mother’s footsteps just to stop her suffering also.
She pulled the hood of her jacket up hoping that the others did not notice the tears that had started flowing. She tried to keep them wiped away with the jackets cuffs but the floodgate of emotions had opened. Anna dared not look around the car, she could not face a concerned look from Rose right now. As she silently wept over things long past she realized that the others knew she was crying, damn their enhanced senses. Why did she have to travel with were-critters and vampires, at least the mage was hopefully oblivious. She heard a window go down up front and a cigarette being lit, Frank was probably trying to help in his own way by masking the scent and sound of tears with smoke and wind.
Anna hated that she had always hidden her past from her Family. How could she tell the others where she came from, the pain and suffering she had to live with while growing up. How could she explain to her Family the cult that she was raised in.
She knew what the town was like about ten years ago but had no idea how it had possibly changed. The town was the cult from what she remembered, there was nobody living there that resisted it. Her Family had been in many bad situations and were able to come out in one piece but to her this was different. Anna felt a dark cloud over her soul and a chill to the bone thinking about that place, this made her fear for her Family more so than when they faced down the Black Spiral Dancers. Something has been growing in that town for over thirty years and she had no idea what.
She wanted to run and hide away from the world and all the bad things that seemed to keep finding her. Taking off and starting over someplace where nobody knew her and there were none of the night folk. A lovey dream but one she had to forget. She had started a family and found good friends that she would die for and did die for. She wasn’t exactly like them but she always felt safe when they were near. She had made a home, not one based on blood that always seemed to betray and abuse her but on choice. It was being threatened and Anna could not stand for that. She had found others like herself that need her help, their ingenuity and innocence made Anna want to protect them from the dangers heading their way. She had friends and a lover that needed her in what was coming and she could not let them down, not after everything they had been through together.
By the time they had pulled into the airport the tears had stopped and a decision made. She would tell her Family about her past even though it would be painful. They need to know what they could be walking into and what to watch out for. Their safety was more important to her than her own insecurities. After they figured out what happened to Hipflask they would have a long talk and decide together how to proceed. Anna felt a weight lift from her and her heart lighten, she still had her fears about what they would find but they would face it together as a Family.
Anna jumped out of the van and turned to face the others,” Alright people we got a plane to catch. Let’s get moving or I’m leaving your asses.” Giving them a wink and a smile Anna turned and walked into the private plane terminal. She had some fast talking to do to get them out of New York.