“Barawk?” Johnathon uttered, turning away from Levi and Phoebe, then making his way to the top of the stairs. Concern was etched in his face, and he took care to descend the stairs, all the while trying to take in what Barawk had just proclaimed loudly.
“AMOS HAS FALLEN! THE ROXBURG HEAD OF COUNCIL HAS FALLEN!”
This came as a shock to all the members of the Bianchi household. Milly emerged from where she had been after caring for Phoebe. Her face was one that was devoid of colour, like the blood had been drained. Cookie still had flour on her hands, and emerged from the kitchen. Both faithful servants of the household, they shared something with Johanthon that few knew, or even realized. They were well aware of Amos and the Roxburgs, who didn’t know of them. Reaching the bottom stair, Johnathon’s had was on the banister, and he showed a grim expression.
“The council must convene as soon as possible. Milly…Cookie. Please go get ready to go to the Council chambers.”Both women nodded and went to their quarters, to dress suitably for the occasion. Johnathon approached Barawk and stood solemnly asking; “Who killed Amos?” Johnathon needed to know…he had to know. Amos was his opposite on the council. The balance was shifting, and a new danger was emerging.
When the servants came out with their hats and coats on, for it was still frightful outside, Johnathon said. “Arrange a carriage, we need to stop by Miss Winnie’s boarding house. I fear this is going to be shocking for her.” Cookie bobbed and headed out into the rain past Barawk, keeping her head down.
Phoebe turned to the sound of Johnathon coming towards them with a bright smile on her face. Despite her previous distress, there was a calming angelic aura around her. It seemed her powers leaned towards a more peaceful nature. Looking down at the doctor’s clothes and then her own rumpled dress, she laughed softly and waved her hand “Nonsense, doctor. We are all looking a bit frightful as of late.” As he questioned his son about the ball, she fell silent and crossed her arms over herself again.
Levi raised his eyebrows at his father’s question and nodded “Uh yes, I did notice there were werewolves. No idea those were even running around London…” Holding a hand to his side, he continued “The ball was indeed a blood bath. At the stroke of midnight, the werewolves revealed themselves. Agares the dog tried attacking Amos, Lillith also did some fighting of her own, and Barawk and I fought to protect Amos. Though he is the head of the Roxburg house, evil should not be battling evil.” His face grew serious as he spoke “Father, the scales are tipped perilously in the favor of evil.”
Phoebe looked between the two nervously before clearing her throat. She had to tell them about Juliette. When the demon was in her room, she had sensed there was desperation about her. It was made quite evident in the way she reacted to being called a monster. There was something going on with Phoebe now and she believed the angelic family could help. Sighing softly, she stepped towards Johnathon and spoke quietly “There is more. When I was waiting for Levi, I wandered into a hallway and spotted a woman kneeling over a dead woman. Her eyes were pitch black and filled with…” Thinking about it, she began to tremble so she forced the thoughts away and met the doctor’s eyes. “There is evil in this woman. She was petite, long brown hair…cat-like. That is the best I can describe her. When she saw me, she said we would meet again.” Levi went to interrupt but she spoke over him. “When I came here to rest, I woke up to find her in my room. She says you are just using me for my…uniqueness.” Looking at the ground with shame, she couldn’t meet his eyes any longer“She says you are using me and that if I spoke of her, she would leave her…artwork around here.” With a sigh, she glanced towards Levi and muttered “Has she killed many times before?”
Before Levi could respond, Barawk’s voice filled the house. With a sigh, he pulled Phoebe against his side like a protective older brother and kissed the top of her head “My father and I will figure this all out, tesoro.” As his father walked over to the top of the stairs and responded, he stared at the ceiling. The council would meet, and the angel of youth would have to intervene. Looking at his father, he spoke “I will meet you at the Town Hall. What of Phoebe, father?” Phoebe finally looked at Johnathon with a meek smile. Levi rubbed her arm encouragingly “She has powers we also have to discuss.”
Josephine laughed as she was swung around and looked up at her father. Wrapping her arms around his neck, she kicked her feet playfully and smiled. “We must go see the circus troupe! I hear they are wonderful performers, but I am afraid I do not know where it is located…” As her father spoke of her recital, she kept her frown at bay but her smile weakened. “Oh father, you missed my performance…don’t fear though, I got leading part!” She kissed his neck and wiggled down so she was standing, smoothing her dress down as she tried to look as though she was not upset he was not there.
Amos was not unknown to Johnathon. Many times over the years they had come face to face. A mutual respect for the other had kept them from actually having to battle each other. Amos believed as Johnathon did in the balance. Sadly, for Amos this would prove to be his downfall. Johnathon was still coming to grips with the news that Amos was slain.
Johnathon saw that his Son was still injured and knew that he would require healing. Before turning to leave for the Hall, Johnathon asked. :“In my office there is a cabinet, the key is in the top drawer of my desk. Yellow ribbon tag, very easy to spot. In the cabinet, the first shelf you will find a vile that contains a purplish colored liquid. Have at least two spoon fulls, and then *he sighs* It will help in the short term, till you see Winnie.” Johnathon offered Phoebe a soft smile. “Trust in my son, he is a good lad.” He then headed to get his hat and coat, to join Milly and Cookie, so they could set off to the Town Hall.
Passing Reginald and his daughter Josephine, the Doctor placed on his hat and coat, along with dark shaded glasses. Seeling Reginald now able to spend time with his daughter, Johanthon was not about to tear his best friend away from her. “Duty calls. Please feel free to use the manor as you see fit, I am afraid I won’t be getting any sleep tonight. You know what they say…Doctors always on call.” He tipped his hat politely to Josephine and grabbing up his medical bag, he went out the door, his staff following him.
Reginald was about to ask about Amos, but then with his daughter hugging him and being attentive, he put her as his priority and tended to her requests.
“And go to the Circus we shall. It’s the very least I can do to make up for missing your recital, my dear one.” Reginald said, smiling softly at his beloved daughter. “Might even take in a dance or two. I hear the girls there really know how to waltz.” The Detective had frequented the Bizarre Circus Troupe and Dance hall before, and had a soft spot for Miss Nini. Who didn’t though? Her legs went on forever. His cheeks even reddened at the thought of her. “I know where the club is, so let’s get your coat and hat, and we shall be on our way.”
(Thread change – Johnathon : Town Hall. Reginald : Circus.)
Phoebe turned her head to return the doctor’s soft smile, a sign that she had her faith in the Bianchi men. Nodding to the doctor, she smirked and placed a hand on Levi’s arm “Don’t worry, doctor, I’ll take good care of your son.” She turned to stick her tongue out at Levi, causing him to frown and snap at her playfully with his teeth. Phoebe just rolled her eyes and tugged him gently to lead him on.
Levi looked his father in the eye and nodded, murmuring softly “The council will certainly have something to say about the spit fire…” Smirking, he allowed the blonde beauty to lead him to his father’s office. After Phoebe helped him find what he needed and got him situated, they grabbed their coats and walked out the front door to meet Johnathon at the Town Hall.
Josephine was distracted enough by her father not to act like a fool in front of the doctor as he gave his farewells. Smiling at him slightly, she then faced her father again and giggled at how silly he looked when he blushed “Why do I have a feeling you have been there before…” Reaching over to her coat, she shrugged it on and fixed her hair over it. Stepping towards the door, she was unaware with the shift in London and was blissfully ignorant to the war that was brewing. Reaching out to loop her arm through his, she laughed again “I have few more…radical dances up my own sleeves, Papa. You just cannot believe what some women are doing these days…” Leaving that thought hanging in the air, she walked towards a carriage and climbed inside.
Never before had you seen a man that was as exhausted as the Doctor. For the past 48 plus hours, he had been on murder investigations, found out his wife had died, then chased werewolves at a ball, found out his friend and colleague Lord Roxburg was murdered and last and not least, shared a cup of tea with another angel. All in all, he was a man sleep walking as he came up the stairs to his manor. Before he could even rap his knuckles on the door, Milly had it opened, and Cookie was also in attendance.
“You get his bag…I’ll do the rest.” Cookie commanded. The rotund woman could be a right sergeant major when she wanted, and the kind Milly helped the Doctor inside, his eyelids at half mast. “I’m a grown man, I think I can…” Cookie tutted and started to fuss, taking off his hat, and then starting to remove his coat, while Milly placed his bag in his office. “Up stairs you march…come on.” Cookie ordered, as the Doctor sleepily made his way for the stairs. “But…my patients..” he sad wearily. Cookie was right behind him and marched him up the stairs, not letting him run away from getting some sleep. “No good woman wants her Doctor falling asleep during an appointment, they might think they bore you. Now…get into bed.”She opened the door to his room, and ushered him in, helping him sit, then taking off his shoes one at a time. “You’re so good to me…” he drawled, as she shook her head and went to close the curtains. “You need a good woman, not an old Cookie. Now..you will sleep. Hmmph.”
The Doctor wouldn’t argue with Cookie, for he had already passed out. Cookie sighed and went to help get his lifeless body under the covers. Such a sweet man. She tutted and then left his room, closing the door behind her.
Levi Bianchi sat on his bed as various maids were flitting about his room trying to gather his attire for the evening. Sam was behind Levi massaging his shoulders and was trying to get Levi to relax…but he couldn’t. “Someone has taken Josephine. I can’t believe she is gone! Why would the detective think it be a wise decision to bring her to that cesspool?!”
Sam moved around to sit beside him, clearly not helping with her touch. Letting out a long breath, she tried not to growl at how concerned Levi was for Josephine. Of course, they were like brother and sister and could not be seen as a threat…not like Phoebe. Shifting next to him, she turned to face him “I am sure her father did not expect her to disappear off into the night like that. You know how Josephine is, usually she is glued to Reginald’s hip. This was something unexpected and most likely unavoidable. It was an accident and you should focus your energy more on finding her, and not throwing a tantrum like a child.” Getting up off his bed, Sam walked towards his closet and pulled out a simple black and white tux “The usual, then?”
The angel scowled at her but then smiled. She certainly had way of words, and she always knew how to put him in his place. Running a hand through his hair, Levi smiled “I suppose so.” Standing up slowly, he walked towards Sam with a gentle look in his eyes “You know, Samantha…I think I would have a better grip on myself if you were there with me tonight.”
The vampire maid looked up into his eyes and smiled sadly. If only she could. Shaking her head, she held his shirt up to his chest “I believe only the lords of the Bianchi house were invited…and you know we can never be, Levi. Why must you torture yourself this way?” She then turned around and walked towards his closet again to grab his shoes.
As she walked away, Levi reached into his pocket and fiddled with her engagement ring. Letting out a long sigh, he stared at the ground and murmured “But you are my lady…”
With her vampire hearing, Sam had heard him but thought it best to ignore it. They just couldn’t be. Grabbing his shoes, she turned around and began to set about dressing him as they were now entrenched in an awkward silence.
Milly was fussing about as she had the suit all laid out on Johnathon’s bed, and he was being…difficult.
“I really hate these things. Do I have to go?” he whined, standing in his pants and under shirt, looking gruff. He got the mysterious invitation, and to be honest, after the last big society do, that ended in many deaths and mystery, he was all out of patience for a gala dinner, no matter who was throwing it. Milly tutted, and held up his jacket. “Now stop being childish and get dressed.” Johnathon pouted and held his arms up like he was going to be nailed to a crucifix, when the door burst opened and it was a frantic looking Reginald standing there. His face was riddled with worry, concern and the worst, fear.
“Johnathon…I’ve looked everywhere…no sign of her, interviewed over two hundred witnesses…come up empty handed. My baby girl is out there somewhere, and I don’t know if she is dead or alive!”
Johnathon lowered his arms slightly, which meant that Milly had a better chance of dressing him. The Doctor had known of the missing Josephine, but he knew that Reginald and the police force would be doing all they could to get her back. Reginald ran his fingers through his hair, then spied the invitation on the bed. He quickly walked over and then read it. Putting two and two together, he knew this was one place he hadn’t looked.
“Right, I’m coming with you to this.” Reginald said firmly, as Johnathon frowned and shook his head. “No…no your not. You don’t even know these creatures. I can’t allow you to get tangled up in their ways. Bad enough I’m going at all.”
Reginald refused to take no for an answer.
“You owe me. This will cover it. Just one night. Please? It might help me find her.” Reginald lamented. Johnathon was finishing getting dressed by Milly, and sighed. He didn’t have it in him to argue with Reg, not when these people might know where Josephine was.
“Alright…alright. Just…bring a gun. Something tells me its not going to be a simple dinner.”
The night had went on while their father was away at dinner with the detective, while Genevieve and Levi Bianchi enjoyed their own dinner. Well, Genny was. As she continued to eat her dessert of chocolate ice cream, she poked fun at her brother“Honestly, brother, a maid? Next you will tell me that you wish to run off to the circus to become a sword swallower.” She then tilted her head as if considering this and then shrugged “Perhaps you will finally find your calling.”
Levi was less than pleased with his sister for making his engagement to Samantha seem like a trivial thing. Indeed, while his father was out, he finally had the guts to propose to Sam. Though she was shocked, the maid hastily agreed as she had been playing this cat and mouse game with the young Bianchi for far too long. Now Levi had told his sister, and all she could do was poke fun. Sitting back against his chair like a pouting child, he grumbled “I would be a fabulous performer, dear sister.”
Sensing that her brother was giving up too easily in defeat, meaning that he truly was upset, Genny put her spoon down to stare at him from across the table “Levi…look at me.” He merely shrugged but wouldn’t look at her, and Genny had to fight hard not to smile. Tilting her head, she spoke softer “Levi…I am happy for you. Truly I am. To find true love is truly becoming a rarity it seems…I just worry for you. You are so young, and with mother gone so recently, I fear you are just trying to fill a hole in your heart too quickly.”
The angelic young man finally lifted his head with the softest of smiles “Then you do not understand, Genny. She completes me. The hole would never be filled without her, I would never be complete without her.”
Genevieve stared down her brother hard before nodding. It seemed his mind was made up. Lifting up her goblet filled with God only knew what, she toasted Levi “To your future, dearest brother.”
He raised his own glass and smiled warmly “Thank you.”
As they toasted to his engagement, King Rupert came crawling into the room. Hopping up onto his mother’s shoulder, the monkey then snuggled into her hair. Genny just smiled and turned to coo to him “You are the only man for me, love.”
Levi had retired to his chambers to be with Sam, leaving Genny laying on the couch in the front parlor in front of a roaring fire. Her dark eyes seemed dazed as she stared off into the flames, her thoughts elsewhere as loneliness seemed to plague her. Her father was married, her brother was now getting married. She was at the age in some eyes where she should be married. Of course, marriage seemed trivial to her since she was immortal and would be around for a very long time. Did it really matter when she got married to someone? Would they even last as long as she would? All the same, loneliness overtook these doubting questions as she lay across the couch in silence.
Her silence was soon disturbed by the sound of the front door opening, and soon Josephine came strolling across the threshold. The angelic beauty had slept as soon as she got into her father’s carriage, all the weariness from the past week crashing down on her. Josephine agreed to come back with her father because she had nowhere else to go. Katherine took her virginity, her happiness, and her will to live. But seeing both Reginald and Johan seemed to restore her, and now she didn’t want to leave their sides. Walking further into the house, she looked for signs of life before turning to look over her shoulder to see if Johan was close behind “Coming, love?” Hearing a fire crackling, she turned and called “Anyone home?”
Genny decided she would have to be social, especially since she had heard Josephine was missing. Standing up from the couch, she came strolling into the front entrance and smiled slightly “You look awful.” As always, Genny was socially awkward and did not always have the best way with words.
Josephine looked down at her bruises and cuts ruefully before nodding in agreement “I do.” Flicking her eyes back up to the Bianchi daughter, she laughed softly “But you look amazing.” Stepping forward, she hugged Genny and whispered in her ear“I’ve brought a naked man with me. Where is Levi?”
Pulling away from their embrace to stare at Jo, Genny raised an eyebrow. This she had to see. “Probably wooing more maids.” Looking away from Jo, she then stared at the front door expectantly, silently curious as to what mayhem Jo brought into her family’s home.
By now, Johan was shivering beneath the simple coat that was loaned to him so that he didn’t arrive in the Bianchi manor nude. With bare feet, he came through the door, and tried his best to stay close to Josephine, for he felt a connection with her, but was still struggling to come to terms with just who he was. Johnathon and Reginald were not far behind, and of course, Reginald was still upset about the whole shooting incident.
“John…brandy. I think, no…I know I need a brandy. Might I go in your office? He asked, seeing that Josephine was busy talking to Genny. Johnathon just nodded silently, and kept his eye on the near naked Johan. He was now right in behind Josephine, and starting to play with her hair as she talked. It might have looked cute, but…Johan’ coat wasn’t done up…and his arousal behind Josephine was starting to…make an appearance. This was when Johnathon shouted.
“LEVI…DOWN STAIRS…NOW! Chap here needs some clothes…and fast.” He said, with a hint of urgency. He rolled his eyes, having seen enough, and went to join Reginald for a brandy. So many strange things happening of late, he just needed to take a time out himself, before the madness continued in the front parlor.
“I’m…the naked man.” Johan said, waving at Genny, before going back to rub his hands on Jo’s shoulders.