A light knock at the oak door would have no response from the sleeping Doctor. The shuffle of heeled shoes is heard, then the handle turns, as the Maid Milly, pokes her head in, to see the Doctor is still sleeping. Milly sighs, knowing how the Doctor had probably only had three hours sleep, if that. Creeping over, she stood at the edge of his bed with her brow furrowing, and she wrung her hands with worry. From downstairs, you could hear the tell tale sounds of Mrs Peabody, giving the cook a hard time, since she was being made to wait to see the Doctor for one of her usual unscheduled appointments. Mrs Peabody liked to think of herself as Johnathon’s best patient. Truth was she favoured his good looks, and always came up with new and interesting reasons for why she was feeling ill all the time.
“The cock has long since crowed, and I need more pills. I have been waiting a good ten minutes, and I expect Doctor Bianchi to be able to see me immediately. I am one of his longest standing patients, Mrs Marsh.”
Mrs Marsh was the house cook, and she was already stirring the morning porridge, rolling her eyes, as she heard Mrs Peabody singing out from the foyer.
“He be down when he is good and ready. Doctor was out most of the night on police business, so you be kind to sit and wait. Young Milly has already gone up to wake him.”
Mrs Peabody made a light hmph sound, snapping open her fan and waving it vigorously.
Upstairs, the young Maid decided it best to open the curtains, and then let the morning sun do its trick. It was of course, an overcast day with the chances of rain. All the more reason that one would want to stay in bed. The sound of the rustling of the curtain fabric and the shuffle of Milly’s shoes along the tapestry rug, had Johnathon open an eyelid and stare directly at the young Maid, who had her back to him, humming softly to herself one of the latest songs from the music hall.
“You don’t normally come in and open the curtains if I have had an all nighter, Milly.”
The Doctor’s voice was gruff sounding, due to the fact he was just waking up. Milly turned sharply and made a light bob, gripping the edges of her long skirt to show respect to the Good Doctor.
“Morning Doctor Bianchi. I am so sorry, but Mrs Peabody is here, and demanding an appointment with you at once. I fear she is terribly ill.” Milly’s voice was full of real concern for Mrs Peabody, little did she know however, that the woman was more of a stalker than a real patient. Johnathon slowly eased himself up into sitting, with the sheet falling away to reveal his bare torso. He smiled and folded his arms saying;
“And she was terribly ill last week, and the week before that and the week before that.”
“Oh the poor woman, Doctor. She is so lucky to have you as her physician.”
Johnathon found amusement in the fact that Maid Milly was so innocent to the natures of his patients, but being that he himself had his own secrets, he was not about to spoil the illusion.
“Isn’t she just? Oh well, guess I better get up anyways. I imagine that Cookie is already making porridge, though I would rather a black tea.”
“Yes Doctor Bianchi. Shall I have a tray brought to your office when you are dressed?”
Johnathon threw back the covers and stepped out of his bed, into his comfortable slippers and stretched, showing off the black tattoo on his back, that was of two wings. Maid Milly tried to hide her embarrassment, finding him to be terribly attractive. The Doctor strode over to his closet and opened the doors, pulling out a day suit, and shirt, with suspenders, and laid them on the bed, ready to dress himself.
“Tell Mrs Peabody, I will be right down, and a tea tray is a capital idea. Pretty sure I am going to need it.”
Maid Milly dropped another curtsey, and headed out of the room, closing the door behind her with a light click. Johnathon stood and stared at his reflection. He hadn’t shaved for a week and his hair was a scruffy mop of brown curls. Yet, this was how he liked to look. Not all angels were like those painted by Michelangelo.
Doctor Bianchi’s office – Ground floor.
Johnathon sat behind his desk, going over the latest case files on the serial killer that had been terrorising the area, as Mrs Peabody was talking in depth about her illness. For every sentence she finished, Johnathon would insert an “mhm or hmm”, so she was of the understanding that he was in fact listening.
“I keep telling Mister Peabody, that the nights that he is away, I am fraught with depression, mood swings, hot flushes, and what is worse is the staff tell me I have a terrible temper. Can you imagine that, Doctor Bianchi?”
“I do believe I am going to have to call the council in on this case.” Johnathon thought to himself, as Mrs Peabody sung out;