Once inside, he flipped her position so he was carrying her across his front as though bringing a bride across the threshold. The thought sparked amusement to him and he began to chuckle once more. Phoebe murmured in his arms and shifted slightly, but made no signs of waking up completely. Levi looked down at her for a moment before placing her down gently on the observation table. Brushing his hand over her forehead to keep loose tendrils out of her eyes, he thought it wise to let her come to on her own in hopes of not sending her body into further shock.
She looked peaceful as she lay there, and it seemed a shame he had to bring her to the manor so forcefully. Turning around, he grabbed a chair from the corner of the room and placed it next to the table. Sitting down slowly, he pulled out his lighter and began to fiddle with it. No doubt the peace would disappear when the woman came to, and he hoped for the sake of his nerves that his father would return home first. Sighing, he continued to watch Phoebe and played idly with the flame as he waited for his father.
Lailah stood before the magnificent doors of her friends’ manor. She used to visit almost everyday when she first came down but her visits shortened throughout the time. She was rather happy to be here at the moment, to catch up with her fellow angels. A maid opened the door from her and from the look on her face Lailah knew something was terribly wrong. She headed straight to where she believed Jonathan and Levi would be.
Doctor Bianchi’s Office- Observation Room
Lailah softly walked into the observation room only to see Levi there with a remarkably familiar woman on the table. She couldn’t be… Lailah thought. That woman could not possibly be Selene. Lailah gave Levi a kind smile and walked over to him, she gently bent down and kissed his forehead as if she were his own mother.
“Levi, how are you doing? And who is this?”
She asked with curiosity and looked down at the unconscious woman before them. It shocked her how much this young girl looked like Selene. She threw a side long glance at Levi and had a feeling that was why she was here, still her question hung in the air. She looked around the room, no angel doctor and no Mrs. Bianchi.
“Where are you parents?”
Levi flipped the lighter shut when he heard the door open. Looking over, he smiled broadly and placed it into his coat pocket. As Lailah leaned down and kissed his forehead, he closed his eyes and sighed heavily. It felt nice to have maternal affection from someone, the effect of his dearest mother’s departure still fresh on his mind. Standing up from his chair, he pulled the fellow angel into his arms and let out another sigh. “It’s so good to see you, Lailah…it’s been too long and things are a bit rough right now.” Pulling back, he gave her a charming smile and held her hands in his.
Looking towards Phoebe on the observation table sheepishly, he let out a chuckle “Oh…you know how I am with the ladies.” He gave her a mischievous wink before turning around to grab another chair. Placing it next to his, he took a seat and patted the spot next to him. “Have a seat.” Crossing his arms, he resumed looking at Phoebe. “Well….uh. She bears a striking resemblance to Phoebe, to be honest.” He paused to run a hand through his hair and to gather his thoughts before continuing. “It proves to pose a problem for my father and Detective Blaine as there is now a serial killer targeting angels, and in particular, women. The fact that she looks just like Selene could be a problem.”
Looking to Lailah, he shook his head “It just doesn’t make sense how it could be, as she is a human. I can’t see how she could have any relation.” When she asked about Saffron, he winced and looked away. Crossing his arms once more, he mumbled to keep tears from falling. “My mother has decided to take a holiday. She just left today.” He was able to keep a reign on his sadness, but he had no doubt that his friend would be able to sense his pain.
Doctor Bianchi’s Office- Observation Room
Lailah embraced Levi as he did her, smiling softly yet sadly at his words.
“It is good to see you too, Levi. I am sorry I have not been around as often, I didn’t think life here would be that time consuming but I was wrong. I am sorry to hear that things aren’t going well.”
She said with honesty in her voice and laughed lightly at his charming smile. That was Levi’s smile, he had his own look, his own personality, his own everything. She’d seen it before while walking down the street or sitting in the cathedral with the Bianchi’s. Levi would flash that charming smile and every females eyes in the area would fall to him.
She smirked at Levi’s joke and gave him a warm smile and a thank you for the chair. She took a seat, examining the girl closely.
“Yes, she is strikingly familiar to Selene.”
She looked up at him with wide and surprised eyes at the news of a killer, a serial killer who kills angels.
“That is disturbing news, it couldn’t be a human, they have no idea of us. A demon, perhaps? A vampire even? This is troubling. But it is good that you brought her here, at least she will be safe.”
Lailah said and stroked her chin in deep concentration while studying the girl and listening to Levi’s words. She nodded slightly, agreeing with him. It could just be this girl inherited interesting genes, or it could be God’s sense of humor.
She snapped out of her thoughts at the tone of Levi’s voice, her brow was furrowed with worry and concern. Lailah caught the meaning of the words and understood what Saffron did. She reached out and placed her hand on Levi’s cheek, her gentle blue eyes bore into his and she became the mother figure she was.
“Whatever your mother’s decision, I know she loves you. And she is proud of you. Just as I love you as if you were my own. I am proud of the man that you have become, Levi. And I will be here for you and your father, we stick together because we’re family.”
Josephine was quiet in the carriage for the whole ride to the manor. It was clear that Johnathon was reluctant to have to put up with her, and she was still silently fuming about how her father had placed him in the doctor’s care. She had just arrived to London for a pleasant surprise, and he threw himself right into work. Josephine of course understood his innate desire to help others, and she herself was concerned for the women, but the tone he had taken with her made her furious. She was no longer a child. In fact, she was getting by just well on her own in Paris. Lifting a hand, she ran it through her blonde locks as the carriage rolled to a stop. When a butler opened the door and offered his hand, she accepted it without so much as a look at Johnathon. Stepping slowly down the steps, she looked at the manor and exhaled slowly “Lovely. So wonderful to be here again…”
Jo finally turned to look at Johnathon, making a decision to make the best of things. Besides she thought to herself If Papa is going to be so busy, I will just return to Paris. Offering a weak smile, she strolled beside him towards the front doors. “I doubt ballets interest you, but I wanted to share my news with someone. I will be auditioning for the part of Odette in Swan Lake. I would have told Papa, but he seems…busy.” With that, she looked ahead again as the butler opened the door for her. Giving him a warm smile, she stepped inside and folded her hands in front of her. Her smile wavered as she looked around what she now viewed as a prison. “Well, here we are…” Turning to Johnathon, she raised an eyebrow expectantly.
Levi leaned forward on his knees, placing his elbows upon them. Resting his chin in his hands, he looked at Phoebe while Lailah mentioned the murders. “Yes, Father and I both agreed it would be best if she was here. There is a ball coming up and I am hoping to convince her to go with me in attempts to keep her safe.” His gaze slid towards Laillah as he kept his comfortable position. Chuckling once more, he found it hard to speak “I highly doubt she will accept eagerly as I kidnapped her from the library and knocked her unconscious.” Levi thought it was best not to tell Lailah that he had slung her over like a sack of potatoes in the process.
When Lailah spoke her tender words to him, Levi leaned into her hand and turned to place a kiss upon it. Sighing, he closed his eyes and thought of his mother’s face. Yes, this was almost the same. Opening his eyes slowly to look back into Lailah’s, his grin turned from charming to sad. “Your words are comforting to me.” Reaching out, he pulled her into another embrace. Lailah was dear to him, as she was a solid rock in his life he had always been able to count on. It was a wonder to him why he had never try to woo her, though deep down he had a great respect for her as a second mother. Kissing her cheek affectionately, he pulled away to look at Phoebe. “I hope my family will help me deal with a very upset female then.” His humor returned as he chuckled. “She is going to be quite upset when she comes to.”
“Welcome home, Doctor. Afternoon Miss.” Milly dropped a curtsy and offered to take her hat and coat if she wished them to be hung up or put away. Milly could see that the young lady was not terribly fussed being at the Manor, and quietly said with her head bowed. “Master Levi and Miss Lailah are in the Observation room. Err…Master Levi brought in a girl that was sleeping, Doctor. Perhaps she needs attention?” the maid’s eyes quickly darted from the young Josephine back to the Doctor and then went to go prepare yet another room.
Doctor Bianchi’s office – Observation Room
“Ah..that must be the Phoebe girl that Levi spoke about. She would have been heavy to carry in if she was asleep. Hmm.”
The Doctor looked upon Josephine thoughtfully, and then said. “I admire anyone that can walk on their tip toes the way the young ballet dancers do. Such dedication and drive. True beauty in their movements. Yes, I am sure you Father would be most proud to see you dance in Swan lake. Russian tale I believe, or is that the music? He tapped his bottom lip, as though that would help him think to remember, but he gave up and said; “Forgive me, I fear the day has been difficult. Do come this way.”
If she followed, she would be entering his office, which just off the side had the observation room. It appeared that his son, Levi had taken the young woman in and laid her to rest upon the observation table. On entering, the Doctor offered Lailah a smile and nodded to his son.
“Nice work. What did you do, knock her over the head with a book? Back in the days of stone, I believe men used clubs to drag their woman of choice to the nearest cave. Good to see how far we have progressed as a species.” he then gazed at Phoebe and uttered under his breath. “Remarkable…simply remarkable.” Her likeness to that of Saint Selene was astonishing. Breaking his train of thought, he said to Lailah. “Always a pleasure to see you here, dear. I have a very sweet young lady in my office. Detective Blaine’s daughter. Would you both be so kind to treat her with the utmost respect, as she is very dear to the family and I would like her to be treated the same as though she were your sister. You could mention that mask ball. I am sure that is what excites the young ones these days.”
Josephine watched the doctor head towards the observation room, and she felt that her presence in there would be more of a hindrance unless requested to heal. Turning around slowly, she took in Johnathon’s office and laughed softly. The desk was certainly cluttered like Mr. Bianchi’s head. Shaking her head slightly, she walked towards it and mused out loud “And I would bet he knows exactly where everything is on this desk.” Swiveling around, she walked towards bookshelves and noticed one in the corner that had quite a few gothic novels. Reaching up, she ran a finger down the spine of Frankenstein and murmured “Looks like Levi has been trickling his things into the office.”
Doctor Bianchi’s Room- Observation Room
Hearing his father’s voice, Levi turned with a cheeky grin towards his father. “No, I slapped her arse and threw her over my shoulder. The little minx put up quite the fight.” Standing up, he stepped towards Phoebe and ran a hand down the side of her face “Indeed. Unsettling seems more fitting to me.” Glancing towards the door to the office, his smile turned roguish and he clapped his hands together “Josie has returned from Paris? Brilliant…” Rubbing his hands together playfully, his taunts were interrupted by a quiet murmur.
Phoebe was sitting up slowly on the table, her hand to her eyes as she tried to rub the bleariness away. Sighing softly, she murmured “What happened…” Opening her eyes more slowly, they fell onto Levi’s face who had leaned in rather close to see if she was all right. Inches from his face, she reached out as though she were going to caress him…but instead, her fingers curled into a fist and socked the angel right in the nose. Levi was sent onto his back, his face stunned as he stared at the ceiling. Phoebe however let out a cry and began to rub her hand. “You broke my hand!”
Levi sat up slowly and touched his finger to his nose lightly. Attempting not to raise his voice, he growled “You broke my nose!”
The young woman slung her legs over the side of the table and hastily attempted to fix her skirts with her free hand. Letting out a soft cry of pain, she cradled her hand to her chest. Being the gentleman that he was, Levi jumped up immediately and rushed to her side. Ignoring the blood pouring down his face, he reached out for her hand “Let me look at it.”
Phoebe immediately leaned away as though he had the plague and snapped “You’ve done enough damage! And where have you taken me?” Looking around the room anxiously, her eyes then fell on Johnathon. Looking him up and down slowly, her breath hitched as she took in how handsome he was. Glancing from father to son, she then let out a groan “You’re forcing me into marriage, aren’t you…”
Levi turned towards his father and raised an eyebrow “I’m opposed to giving up my status as a bachelor. That man over there is only good for treating women for hysteria. That is my father, Doctor Johnathon Bianchi.”
She looked towards the doctor again and sighed softly “It seems I’m hysterical. You wouldn’t be opposed to treating me for hysteria combined with a hurt hand, would you?” Levi turned around quickly and coughed into his hand to keep from laughing outright. The effect hurt his nose, and he snapped it into place with another growl. Phoebe watched him with a satisfied smile on her face before she looked Johnathon in the. “Please…tell me why I’m here.”
“My dear, I don’t think my treatment would exactly be suited to this time and in front of family and other guests. I may be unorthodox, but I do believe in a patient’s right to privacy. Unless your Mrs Peabody, she likes the attention.”
It was not lost on the Doctor that his son was half enjoying this spectacle, and he gave him a knowing look. He really should be behaving better around the ladies, and not rabbiting on about his non marital status. He was young however, and this was typical of his son. Especially today of all days, when his Mother had just walked out.
“To answer your question, my dear Phoebe, my Son was acting on my advice, for we were concerned for your safety.” he reached for her hand, and then with his gentleness, he caressed the back of it, feeling for the onset of swelling that would be caused by the punch to Levi’s nose. “If we put an ice pack on that now…it will reduce the incidence of bruising. It would be awful to have blue and black knuckles, especially for a lady such as yourself.” Johnathon continued to hold her hand, staring into her eyes, thinking how much she looked like Saint Selene.
Phoebe looked back towards the doctor and frowned “He’s a pompous arrogant bast-“ She cut herself off as she remembered Levi was Johnathon’s son. Clearing her throat, she finished that sentence while looking at the floor. “Gentleman.” Looking down at her cradled hand, she frowned and muttered “I don’t regret it, regardless of the pain.” Moving her green eyes back up to look into the doctor’s eyes, she asked curiously “In what ways are your practices unorthodox?”
She then flinched as Johnathon touched her hand, though did not pull back from his touch. Though he was Levi’s father, their good looks seemed to be the only trait they had shared. Levi was brash and forward with his movements, whereas Johnathon’s seemed more thought out, planned. Nodding, she glanced down at her hand again with a scrunched up nose “I do apologize for attacking your son like that. Honestly, I never act so…violently.” Shaking her head at disgust with herself, she let out an agitated sigh “He just carried me out like some sort of barbarian!”
Realizing she was getting herself worked up again, she looked up into the doctor’s eyes to try to calm herself down. A gasp escaped her lips, however, when she found he was looking into hers intently. That damn blush crept into her cheeks again, but she couldn’t remove her eyes from his. With her free hand, she brushed blonde waves out of her face and murmured softly“Were you going to get me the ice pack..?” Her eyes then traveled from his eyes to his nose, then his lips, and then to his facial hair. Appreciating the manly stubble over Levi’s boyishly clean-shaven face, she felt her neck flush under his gaze. Her eyes then moved to his mouth, where they rested for a moment before she twitched her hand to bring her back to reality. This was absurd and she couldn’t believe how inappropriate she was being around an older man. Looking away, she spoke in a pained voice as she hurt her hand when she moved it “I apologize…I must still be woozy.”
The young lady was not one to hold back, even whilst having her hand held by the Good doctor. She didn’t get on with Levi, that was for sure. Went to call him a pompous, arrogant…and she almost said the last word, but Johnathon interjected. “He’s not quite a bastard. His mother and I were married when he was born, but the rest of it, comes from upbringing. So you would need to blame me for his demeanor. As for my practice methods on patients….” The Doctor tilted his head slightly, and continued to gently massage Phoebe’s swollen hand, with the lightest of touch. “I have been told that I have a gift. Or as one might say, I can take a woman’s cares away.” Only half of that was true, for if he could do that, then maybe Saffron may never have left. His list of appointments with female clients told an entirely different story.
As the pair seemed to be in their own world for a moment, the Doctor shook himself clear of the haze, from staring at Selene, and then remembered the ice pack. Gently he released her hand, and went to the bar in the next room, to get a bag of ice from the ice bucket. While he was gone, this would give Phoebe and Levi a chance to talk. Josephine was still in his office and as he passed her he said. “That book is mine by the way. I love gothic tales, don’t you?”
Phoebe looked into his eyes as he spoke, smiling gently as he spoke of Levi and his patients. Shaking head slightly, she spoke quietly “I wouldn’t place the blame on you, he seems to act of his own accord.” His touch was sending tingles of awareness through her, but she ignored them for the sake of remaining sane in his presence. Tilting her head, she raised an eyebrow “Ah. So perhaps you and your son are similar if you have such an effect on women.” As he released her hand, she found herself sobering up and gave him a critical look as he left the room.
Levi strode into the next room and walked right up to the small dancer. “Josie!” With that, he then picked her up from behind and spun her around.
Josephine let out a squeal and began to laugh wildly “Unhand me, Mr. Bianchi! Haven’t you handled enough women today?”
The angel set her down immediately upon request and spun her around to grab her shoulders, drawing her in to place a brotherly kiss upon her forehead. “Now really, Josie, you really shouldn’t spread rumors like that.”
Jo rolled her eyes and swatted his shoulder. “The maids were all in a tizzy as they spoke about how you treated that poor woman. Shame on you.” Still clutching Frankenstein, she looked over as Johnathon made his appearance. “Hello again, doctor. Indeed, I do. It’s a bit poetic that this is in your office, as it seems you’ve created a monster of your own, good doctor.” She gave Levi a teasing look before taking the book to a seat. Sitting down, she crossed her legs and decided it was best to ignore everyone in the room. Levi was in a playful mood and that meant chaos would most likely ensue. Silently, she was a bit peeved he would treat a woman the way he did with Phoebe but she wouldn’t voice her opinions in his own home.
Seeing that Josie wasn’t in the mood to talk, Levi frowned and turned to acknowledge that his father was present again. He said nothing as he searched his father’s face. The angel couldn’t read his father’s moods, so he was unsure as to what was going on with Phoebe. Taking his leave, he walked back into the observation room to see Phoebe fiddling with her hand. Sighing, he walked up to her and placed his fingertips gently on her hand to still her movements. “You will only agitate it more…It’s best to wait for my father to return.”
Phoebe looked up at Levi with a frown, but nodded slightly in agreement. She said nothing to him for fear of throwing another fit. Instead, she looked away from him and stopped fidgeting. Levi sighed and ran a hand down his face as he sat back down in his chair next to the table. After studying her for a few minutes, he spoke in a calm manner “I know you must be scared. You have no idea why you are here and I didn’t exactly bring you here heroically.” Phoebe opened her mouth to retort but Levi raised a hand, silencing her. He was powering the presence of his domineering angel, a trait that proved he would be a Council Leader one day. “Regardless, we are concerned about your safety. I know you have some knowledge that you bear resemblance to the Saint.” Leaning forward, he rested his elbows on his knees and clasped his hands together. “I don’t know how you feel about the supernatural, but understand this: there is a divine work being done in London, as well as something evil.”
The young woman searched Levi’s face, noting the difference in his demeanor. He spoke with a sharp tone that commanded respect, and Phoebe felt an inward pull to obey. She realized he was being completely honest and serious, and she had to respect him for that. Sighing, she nodded slightly. “Why is your father interested in me like I am a piece of artwork?”
Levi seemed taken aback by the question, his eyebrows raising. “My father has a healthy curiosity in regards to your similarities to the Saint. He is a very curious individual and seeks to find out the truth behind your background. It is purely professional, I assure you.”
Phoebe looked away and nodded distractedly. She was just a patient, a house guest, and she was forcing herself to accept that she could not allow herself to look at Johnathon the way she had when he was in the room previously. It was highly inappropriate and knew Levi was right. The doctor was just professional towards her. Levi sensed her disappointment and began to chuckle, his good humor returning “You don’t fancy my father, do you?”
She looked up at him as though she wanted to claw his eyes out “Why, how dare you insinuate something so…preposterous!”
He laughed in response and leaned back in his chair. “You are fiery and your temper makes me doubt that you have any relation to Selene.”
She raised her chin indignantly and gave him a cold stare “Unlike you, I have not claimed to be related in anyway to a Saint, so I cannot be held in the same light.”
Levi shrugged, a smirk still tugging at his lips. “Regardless, there is something you ought to know. A ball is coming up, and my family is invited as well as various others of high standing. My father and I think it would be best that you and I attend together, as I need to make an appearance and you need to be safe.”
Phoebe pondered this for a moment before asking “What are you and your father so afraid of?”
A shadow flashed over his face, but his expression did not change. “The unknown.” He let that be his only retort and watched Phoebe, gauging her response.
He assumed she would deny his request, her temper always getting the best of her. She surprised him, however, and smiled slightly. “I do enjoy a good ball.”
Smiling in relief, he murmured “As do I, Phoebe. As do I.”
Filling the ice bag, that was on the bar top, Johnathon couldn’t help but overhear his son, Levi being friendly with Josephine, who clearly was not in the mood to be teased or flirted with. Perhaps the fact her father found it more important to deal with Miss Vivian and her notebook on the Cathedral murder, than spend time with Jo, was the reason that she was in such a temper. Johnathon kept glancing in the looking glass, so he could see the pair argue. Every so often he would mutter under his breath at his son’s choice of words. Youth of today seemed to be so flippant, and he figured that Levi got this trait from his Mother. Clearly it was not from any standards that the Doctor had set. Johnathon found that women responded best if they were spoken to directly and getting straight to the point, rather than going in circles. Perhaps that is one of the reasons Saffron left, but Johnathon may never truly know the reason.
The bag of ice filled, he picked it up and wandered back to the observation room, where Phoebe; the newest household guest was giving her Son a serve, and Johnathon caught the latter part of the conversation.
“Why, how dare you insinuate something so…preposterous!”
Johnathon raised an eyebrow at the loud screech, and casually handed over the icepack, not really wanting to get involved in such heated talks. For a moment, he watched the two have at it, his head turning left and right, much like a spectator at a tennis match. One point that was raised and Johnathon did agree with, was the fact that Levi and he thought it was safer for the young girl to be at the Manor and with Levi as an escort, rather be out in London on her lonesome, where unknown dangers could be right around the corner.
When Phoebe asked what they were both afraid of, Levi had said the “unknown”, while Johnathon was more to the point.
“Let’s just say, your heart is much nicer within your chest than being used in some satanic ritual or pierced and consumed by a high level demon on a slice of toast..”
That being said, he offered them both a smile, that they might go to the ball together, and went back into his office, taking his place behind his desk, and picked up the paper to read.