“Mother, stop, stop!” Bess screamed and screamed until her voice went horse, and even then she croaked her anger and her hatred for the woman that had birthed her. As she felt her youngest daughter press into her side, Bess shot a hand out and gripped onto her. She pulled Alice into her side, whilst her limbs fought to return to their position against the pillar, Bess fought the spell, her mother might be powerful….but Bess’ grief was overwhelming it all. “Alice…”Bess breathed, her eyes were red rimmed and she was still crying…the joy of seeing her daughter again, mixed with the hatred for her mother and the anguish at seeing her family torn apart was to much for her. As Alice took her hand Bess dropped her head for a moment, her daughter was so close, close enough so that Bess could keep her safe should her mother turn on her. At the sound of Elviras shrill cry, Bess’ head snapped up. Juliette stood arrogant and smirking beside Lilith. Bess glared and screamed in fury, trying to claw her way forward but not getting anywhere. She screamed at Juliette, at her mother and at everything…her life had gone from being perfect to crumbling down around her. Bess watched with wide eyes horror as her mother knelt and took Amos’ head in her hands. Her grip looked like she meant to crush him…but she simply held him there Bess held Alice close to her, afraid that she could disappear from beside her.
Lillian had not expected Amos to talk back to her, and she had certainly not expected him to rise again. Her eyes widened in slight surprise and horror, as his grip on her wrist tightened. She was forced to her knees as he rose above her, eyes glowing with sudden resolve and a willingness to go on. Lilian gritted her teeth and tried to wretch her hand away, she was strong…but not still not as strong as her. As he spoke, his words hit home…but instead of grinding her down, it fueled her anger and only made her want to end him sooner. As the rain washed across her face, matting her hair and making her makeup run, Lillian stared up at him and as his foot rose into the air, she became all to aware that this could be it…that this could all over for her….
suddenly, she was free. His grip had loosened and she tore her hand back, cradling it to her chest. glancing over her shoulder she saw that Amos had ran to his Juliette. The girl and the father stood in an awkward embrace, Juliette was basically salivating and Amos didn’t seem to notice as all.Lillian bristled. She stood and whirled, hitching up hr skirts she ran to Agares who lay moaning still. She glared down at him before picking up his blade “I should have known better than to put my trust in a dog!” she spat before lifting the plat up and holding it in front of her face. Lillian muttered some forgotten words in a langauage older than time itself. The blade glowed red, eery and strange. The steel hardened in her hand, it turned black, looking as if it had been burnt. Lillian smirked, her anger and her hatred for Amos drove her. She was half mad now, with want to kill him.
Lillian broke into a run, Amos had her back to her, till holding Juliette. It was then the other daughter cam running, Juliette broke away from Amos and Lillian had the opportunity for a clean strike. Still running, she drew the blade back, the point aimed right for the middle of his back.
The blade was so hot, that it cut through his skin like it was warm butter. Lillian drove the blade deeper and deeper into his chest, her strength gave her the ability to go straight through his spine. She knew exactly when the blade had pierced his heart…for she heart the cry of sheer and utter anguish from her daughter. Lillian had never heard such a sound before, it was horrible and blood curdling…and it made her grin.
Using her free hand Lillian took hold of the back of his head, of one great horn and tugged his head back so that it lolled against her shoulder “You may be his brother” she whispered to him, her eyes flicking from his face and locking with her daughters. Grinning at her sworrow she continued “But am i his Queen…the mother of his heirs, and i may be nothing more than a good fuck…but at least i still have my life.” Lillian twisted the blade sharply, drinking in the sound of his dying breathes. “I belong at no ones heel..i fought, tooth and nail for what i have now…and i will not loose it to the likes of you and my fucking idiot daughter” Lillian hissed into his ear. “Have fun in Hell Amos…i’ll be here…destroying this perfect little family you created” Lillian chuckled and with a sharp tug, she pulled the blade free and let him go. Her grin was wide, as her eyes. She stood there for a moment, holding her bloody sword and staring down at him as if she couldn’t believe that what she had done had worked.
However, she was soon interrupted as she heard her grandmother step closer. Stepping back, she faced her with confusion“Grandmother, what are you doing?” But it was no use. Just as soon as she had finished speaking, Lillith had stabbed a blade into her father. Wincing, a look of horror covered her face as she covered her mouth. Her father was dead. Turning to face Lillith, she gasped “How could…you…deprive me of my fresh blood.” The look of horror dissolved from her face as she began to cackle maniacally. Taking her place safely by Lillith’s side, she crossed her arms and looked at her sister coldly “Oh you poor thing…didn’t you always tell me to embrace what I was? To be a true demon, like your slutty self? Look at what I am! I am of your own making…you…mother…father…darling Bartholomew. Don’t like what you see? Tsk tsk, I would have thought you would have been proud to see what evil truly looks like.”With that, she dissolved into the ground before another word left her lips.
(Thread Change- The Underground Salon. I’ll wait for Lillith to post her following xD)
That was until she saw her own grandmother step in behind Amos, stabbing him straight through to the heart with her blade of death. The familial bond she felt with her father snapped, effectly stopping Elvira in her tracks. Like a puppet with its strings cut, she crashed to Earth, an inhuman howl of pain and grief erupting from her lips. The fire raged around her in a hellish inferno, drying the ground around her to the point it changed to glass beneath her feet.
She barely heard her sister’s words, her gaze focused on her father’s still form a few feet from her. “Father.” she whispered into the air, rain still falling around them, the fires of her rage slowly tapering away until she was in her human form once more. She took no notice of her grandmother and former sister leaving.
Not caring she was naked, she crawled on hands and knees through the mud until she reached her father’s side. Sitting, she pulled his head into her lap, pressing her forehead to his own, her tears mingling with the rain falling from the sky. “Daddy. Please…don’t leave us…” she whispered over and over again, rocking back and forth.
She was unaware when Sally stepped from the house to wrap a blanket around her naked form, heedless of the rain soaking her own clothing, nor the rest of the household staff surrounding them in a circle of grief. All she knew at that moment was that her father, the only man she would ever admit to loving besides her brother, was dead or dying in her arms.
It was a sting at first, nothing more. He was ready to whip around and tear the head off Lillith for such a weak attempt at finishing him. The blade then pierced through his left shoulder blade, and the pain became more of a sting, leaving Amos’ mouth wide and gaping. He immediately let go of Juliette, his arms falling to his side. He roared in pain and made to flap his wings, to knock Lillith away from him, though it was not to come to be as the blade pierced his heart. His roar was cut off suddenly and his entire body stilled. He didn’t move, and it seemed as though time itself had stopped. Then his hands fell to the blade which had pierced the other end and he recognized the burn well. It was a spell he’d created, to make an ordinary blade capable of killing any high ranking Demon, even Lucifer should it come to it. How she came to it possession was unknown, but at this point it didn’t matter. Amos was dying.
Her hand yanked his head back as it gripped his horn, and he listened to her words, gasping for breath. “You may be his brother, but am i his Queen…the mother of his heirs, and i may be nothing more than a good fuck…but at least i still have my life.” The blade twisted in his chest and tore at the flesh of his heart, blood quickly filling the rest of his body and pouring less through his other wounds. His eyes widened with rage as she continued. “I belong at no ones heel..i fought, tooth and nail for what i have now…and i will not loose it to the likes of you and my fucking idiot daughter. Have fun in Hell Amos…i’ll be here…destroying this perfect little family you created” You can insult a man as you would a dog, but do not threaten his family else you are in for a world of pain and disdain. “Yet you stab me…in the back….bitch. You are further at my heel….than you may yet realize.” This is what drove him even after the blade was yanked from his body. With a roar and a final roar fueled by a rush of rage, his own blade appeared in a blast of green flame in his right hand. As quick as his body would allow, he spun, holding the blade up and aimed for her head. She’d likely avoid the attack, but no way would she do so unscathed. Likely Amos would create a gash over her face, which caused by a Demonic blade, would not heal fully and would cause a burdened scar, forever marking her face. Though it was not a grievous wound, Amos would be happy with this as his last stand. “To mark the most beautiful in hell, with an imperfection, is good enough for me.”
He then collapsed to the ground, reverting to his human form. He gasped for air as his daughter came to him and embraced him in her arms. His eyes fell to Elvira’s face, with a gentle smile covering his lips. Drops of water fell from her face to his, her tears mixing with his own. He reached up with his right hand, being the left was unusable. “My Little Devil…” He spoke softly, breaking every now and then to cough up blood as it began to slowly fill his lungs. “You are my greatest prize. Of all my accomplishments in all my years, I have never been so proud of any as I am of you. You are a Roxburg through and through, and beside your brother you must take care of the house. Of our name. Of your mother. I love you, Elvira. do not ever forget that. For this will not be the last you see of me.” His final words were spoken in a whisper as he turned his head to Juliette, and saw her embracing the woman that had just ended his life. His eyes dried and his lips moved weakly to utter a new incantation. The barrier around the house glew brightly, and tendrils flew from it, wrapping around each roxburg and yanking them all in side it. All, except Juliette and Amos, whose body rested in the dirt.
His eyes fell to Bess as she landed in the dome he’d made, and using his telepathy, he entered her mind and brought to her images of their wedding day, and the many moments they shared since that enforced a love that had grown for hundreds of years. The pure joy and love he held for her filled her mind, and then fell away as Amos drew his last breath. Though, this was not the end, as shown when his body erupted into flame a few moments after his final breath left his lips. It took a while, but the flame died out, and Amos’ body was gone.
Alice looked as though it had been her that Lillith had struck. Her breaths were shallow in her mother’s arms, and her mouth was agape as she watched her father, sisters and grandmother. Her lower lip quivered as more and more tears began to pour form her eyes. Her demon had ceased trying to bring itself out, almost as if it had taken pity on her. She gripped her mother tighter as they were pulled into the house, her eyes remaining on her father through the open door. “Daddy… No…” She had to turn her eyes away when his body combusted in such a bright light, and buried her face in the crook of her mother’s neck as sobs broke from her lips. She tried to remember the last thing she’d said to her father a year ago, but she couldn’t. Her mind evaded her, and the only image she could muster was her grandmother, driving a sword into his heart. She wanted to scream, to cry until she couldn’t cry anymore, to kill every stupid servant in the stupid house that Lillith wanted to take away from them so desperately. But, because her father would not want that, she didn’t. She simply held her mother in return to the woman’s comforting embrace, her little shoulder’s shaking and her splutters and sobs currently the only noise in the manor.
With a terrible cry of fury she whipped around, staring at at the dark stain on the cobble stones were Amos’ body had burnt into the earth. She eyed each one of her grand children over before her bright eyes landed upon Bess. Despite the scar and despite the pain, Lillian grinned “Widowhood suits you my dearest” she mused before glancing to the sky. The rain washed over her face and down over her body. With that she seemed to melt, with a hiss, like water coming to the boil, steam rose from across Lillians body until, she was nothing but vapor, swirling and twisting through the air and heading far away from the manor.
Bess could do nothing but stare.
Tears rolled across her cheeks still, but she had become to numb to everything that she didn’t care or notice anymore. As those last few memories of her and Amos’ happiest day replied over and over in her head, the entire joy of it all made Bess feel ill. With Alice still tucked protectively in at her side, Bess finally let her youngest go. Shakily she got to her hands and knees, she wasn’t all that far away from where her family was staring to gather around the darkened cobble stones. The once stunning red gown, was now dirt caked and torn…and still she didn’t care “Amos…” she croaked, her voice horse. As she crawled up and dropped at where his feet had been Bess reached forward with a shaky hand and touched the blackened cobbles. They still felt warm, even with all the rain.
It was then the shocking truth of it all hit Bess like a boulder. She would never kiss him again, she would never bare him another child. She would never be able to curl up next to him on a Sunday morning and laugh with him….she wouldn’t be able to hold him or be held again…Bess was half a person now, Amos had been with her for decades and now…there was nothing but a hollow emptiness inside her…
“Come back to me” she whispered, coiling in on herself, she wrapped her arms around herself and lowered her head down until her forehead touched the still warm stain “Come back Amos…”
She began to weep, violent cobs racked her body as Bess crumbled. She couldn’t stand, she couldn’t talk…she could only cry and weep and wail for the husband she had loved and lost.
“Father! No!” Elvira screamed, struggling to get through the protection barrier but it held true. She sank to her knees, shivering from the cold and the grief running through her veins as she stared at her father’s still body.
Beside her, Alice and Bess were embracing one another as every person in the house crowded around the open doors to stare one final time at their beloved Master.
There was a flash of flame as Amos’ body was consumed back to the ether from wence it came. It was a few moments before the flame died and his body was no more. Elvira bowed her head, silent, tears streaming from her eyes. “Until we meet once more.” she whispered.
Movement from the corner of her eye brought her head up and she watched her mother stumbled from the house, falling to her knees at the spot where her father’s body had once been.
“Amos…” she could hear her mother whisper, voice hoarse with pain as she reached out a shaky hand to touch the still dark and smouldering cobblestones. “Come back to me.” Elvira shuddered, watching her mother slowly lose herself to her grief. She felt more than saw Sally step in behind her, placing Elvira’s dressing robe over her shoulders.
“Go to her, Miss Elvira.” Sally whispered into her ear, her own voice thick with tears. Elvira’s eyes were still on her mother, who had wrapped her arms around herself and lowered her head to the ground, sobbing uncontrollably. “She needs what family she has left now, you especially. Go to her.” she whispered again, squeezing Elvira’s shoulder in comfort. Taking a shaky breath, she nodded, getting to her feet with the help of Lurch. She thanked him, to which he grunted in the affirmative before turning to face her brother and little sister.
“Sally is right. Mother needs us. We must be strong for her now. We are all she has.” So saying, she belted her robe and stepped through the barrier their father had raised with his dying breath, ignoring the rains that soaked her skin once more. She slowly made her way to her mother’s side, kneeling down into the mud beside her and wrapping her arms about the grieving woman.
“Mum. Come inside out of the rain.” Elvira whispered into her ear, hoping she was heard…
– – –
It took some time for the Roxburg children to get their mother settled for the night before returning to their own rooms to grieve privately, each lost in their memories of this horrific night…
Elvira’s Room – a few hours later
The rains had long since stopped and dawn was struggling to break through the cloudy skies above the city. Having not yet gone to sleep, Elvira sat on the edge of her bed, staring at her hands. They were rough looking from the fighting from the ball and she had ripped a few of her fingernails.
Sally stepped into the room, holding a bowl of soup. She placed it on the side table and sat down next to Elvira. She placed a comforting hand on her charge’s shoulder, catching her attention. Elvira looked at Sally and it damn near took the maid’s breath away with the lost look she could see in her eyes.
“Oh my darling child.” Sally whispered, giving Elvira a look of complete understanding. Elvira seemed to collapse in upon herself and Sally pulled her into her arms, rubbing her hands up and down the girl’s back as Elvira wailed out her grief. “Your father was a great man. He would not want you to mourn him so.” she whispered. Elvira sobbed, pressing her face into Sally’s shoulder.
“I know, Sally. But knowing your own sister and grandmother were the cause of his death…it hurts.” Elvira murmured as she drew back. Sally pulled her hankerchief from her pocker and wiped at Elvira’s face.
“Unfortunately, Miss Juliette forged her path the moment she left the house with that demon dog. We cannot change what has passed. We must instead strive for a better future. Do not let your father’s final wishes go unanswered.” Sally stated, brushing Elvira’s hair back behind her ear and pressing a hand to her cheek.
Elvira knew Sally’s words were wise and nodded. Sally got to her feet, pointing to the bowl.
“Eat. Then you need sleep.”
“I’m not hungry. I’m going to take Jezebel out for a while. I’ll stop at the cafe if I feel peckish.” Elvira stated as she headed to her wardrobe to change. She need to get out of the house for a while. She was feeling a bit claustrophobic. Sally simply nodded, knowing this was Elvira’s way of dealing with her grief. She helped Elvira dress, putting the young woman’s hair up into a tight bun with ringlets framing her pale face.
“Please be careful, Miss Elvira.” Sally told the girl as she headed down the stairs. Elvira didn’t give her a reply, simply nodding her head as she headed for the stables.
Jezebel was already saddled and ready to go when Elvira approached. The stableman handed her the reins before she climbed into the saddle. Jezzie whinnied, tossing her head, drawing a small smile from Elvira’s lips. She lightly kicked her flanks and Jezzie instinctively knew where to go.
Elvira paused in front of the house, staring down at the still blackened stones where her father once lay. He gave his life for his family, and she would honor his memory by living hers.
She made a sound that got Jezzie moving again and she headed for her favorite spot in the woods outside the park. She needed time alone from everything and everyone.
—thread change to the park—
Bart stood without expression. The screams and cries of his female family members but a hollow reminder of what he had just lost. The Dark son of Amos, was un moving. No tears showed in his eyes, no voice projected from his lips. As each were sent back into the manor, as a last act of love by their father, Bart merely stepped aside, and watched all with black pitted eyes. He said nothing, then walked calmly to his room, not even taking note of the sniffs of Fanny, who looked bewildered and shocked by all the carnage. Amos was dead, and at that same moment, Bart died, but in a different way.
Padding up quietly, Fanny approached Bart’s room, and then lightly tapped on the door, hoping he would answer. But there was no voice coming from within. “Daahling….I think we should talk. You need to…” At this the door burst open, and Bart was standing there, changed from his ball clothes, to a smart suit. “What do you want?” He never called her Kitten, or acted as he normally did towards his love. Fanny swallowed and then gestured to the stairs. “They…need you. Bart lent against the door, and folded his arms. “Do…THEY really? Fanny didn’t like the tone of his voice, and she was about to hold a finger up, when he seized her wrist and brought her closer to him, but not in a loving manner. “What kind of family kills its own? HMM? You explain that to me, then…you will think AGAIN before asking me, to help them.”
Fanny wasn’t having any of that, and stomped her foot, yanking back her hand. “How can you say its their fault? Elvira and your Mother..your sister…” Bart then let out a loud laugh. “My SISTER FED on my dying father. My Grandmother slayed him with a sword, and you want me…to suddenly acknowledge that this same family….won’t do the same to me?”he turned on his heel and continued to pack his bag, tossing in his clothes haphazardly. Fanny entered and tried to stop him.“Stop being rash!” At this, Bart spun around and slapped Fanny fair across the face, hard. “I JUST LOST MY FATHER…DON’T YOU DARE SPEAK DOWN TO ME…EVER.!”
It was clear, that Bart was more scarred by this, then anyone could have possibly imagined. Hurt and upset, Fanny gripped her swollen cheek as she fled the room in tears. Bart went back to packing, and as soon as he was done, he headed for the stairs. Lurch bowed as he reached the lower level and Bart stopped before him.
“I’ll be at Oxford, till I can arrange new accommodation. Take care of them.” Bart then placed on his hat, and walked out the door.
Alice had been laying on her bed when she heard her brother and Fanny fighting. She had cried her eyes out for the last few hours, and now she felt… nothing. Numb. She already missed her father dearly, but something inside her… it snapped, and it was just that – she missed him, but she wasn’t agonizing to have him back. Something in her accepted that he was gone and there was nothing any of them could have done. But she still missed him, and loved him. She slowly walked down the hall, her bare feet noiseless on the flooring. She was in a nightgown now. A maid had gingerly helped her redress after she, Elvira and Bart had coaxed their mother to her room. She found Fanny and reached out to place a hand on her arm, a gentle smile on her face that didn’t reach her saddened eyes. She’s always liked Fanny, and had counted her as part of the family since day one. “I know I don’t have to tell you this, but Roxburg’s have high tempers – and run away when they are hurt. It’s in our blood. He’s just mourning in his own way, and I know that you know he loves you very much. As I am not involved, I know he has nothing to forgive you for, but in his mind, it is everyone else’s fault and he has to work through that himself. Once he can “forgive” you, I hope you can forgive him too.” It was a rare occasion that Alice was like this. She was sweet to her family, but she was never… wise.
“I’m sorry he hit you, he should have known better than that. Come, Lurch and I will get you some ice and we can all pretend like it’s just a normal night in the parlour. We can even gossip about who’s in each other’s beds among the staff.” Her smile became a bit happier, trying to cheer Fanny up. THIS side of Alice was somewhat more normal, always putting her own sadness secondary to her family’s. She was trying not to feel anger at Juliette, because she loved her sister, but it was all boiling just behind the sadness. She wanted to wring her grandmother’s neck, and slap her sister silly. But she also wanted to cling to her sister like a little girl and beg her to see reason, remember that it was her family that she was hurting. Alice was just a teenage girl after all – her mood swings were amplified by her demon. “Luuuuuuuurch.” She called, a bit of affection in his name. It seemed everyone in the family adored Lurch, except maybe her father. But her father was gone, and she needed to stop thinking about that.
Fanny, was a mess. Her makeup had run all down her cheeks. Her dress was in ruins covered in blood, mud, and tears. Curled up on a small couch that lined the hall not far from Bart’s room, she wept openly. Fanny was always made to feel like she was part of the family, and had been involved in many celebrations and functions. She thought so very highly of Amos, and he was like the Father that she never had. With broken shoes and a broken heart, Fanny wallowed in a pit of despair and grief. Bartholomew, her beloved had just struck her in a fit of rage, something he had never ever done before. She had already felt the sting of guilt, from having him help her into the house, only to find when he went back to help his Father, that his Grandmother and sister had done him in. For the Roxburgs this was a devastating blow, and she knew more than anyone that they needed to stay strong, for each other’s sake. But Bart just didn’t have the strength. Hurt beyond words, he fled out into the night, after more or less declaring he no longer wished to be part of a family that killed its own.
Wringing her hands, she was lost and forlorn. Nowhere to go, and nowhere to hide from her torment. Her face swollen from the slap. But as chance would have it, not all the Roxburgs had forgotten about her. Alice, the youngest of the brood came up to Fanny, and showed her kindness and reason that was beyond her years. Hesitantly, Fanny looked up at the sweet child, but her face crumpled, as she fought back the tears. Tilting her head, she cupped the girl’s cheek with her right hand, her netted glove all torn. Alice spoke of how the Roxburgs had high tempers and run away when hurt. Fanny knew this to be true. She had seen Bart do something similar at campus before. People always picked on those that were different from themselves, and there was no mistaking, the Roxburgs were different to most. Fanny was almost embarrassed to admit that she had been struck by Bart, but no doubt Alice must have heard it.
“I love him…so much. I only want him to forgive me. My heart feels like it is made of paper, and it has been shredded. Oh sweet child. I would give anything for this to be a normal night in the parlour.”
Lurch had heard the young Alice summon him, and he appeared, looming over the pair. He looked down sadly at Fanny and Alice, for he too suffered from the grief that had encompassed the entire household. He only knew how to serve the family, nothing more nothing less.
“You called, Miss?” Lurch said with a low bass tone voice. He saw the battered and bruised Fanny, and lifted her up gently as he dared, and went to carry her down to the parlour, where he would arrange tea and cakes.
Alice had followed Lurch with a soft spring in her step, and when they reached the parlour, she plopped down and curled up in her favorite armchair. It was technically her father’s chair, but the two had pretty much shared it. She tried not to dwell on the thought, and acted like the chair was nothing special as she turned to smile at Fanny when Lurch set her down. “It’s good to be back. Lady Barnfield’s School for Troubled Girls was just… horrifying. Those human girls thought they were bad, huh? Sure showed them.” She muttered slightly as she got to the end, thinking about what might make a better conversation. “Oh, is that an engagement ring?” Her eyes locked in on Fanny’s hand, and she looked up at the woman through her eyelashes, a giddy little smile on her face. And then she realized Bart could have been the only one that asked, and Bart might not be the best conversation topic either. The thought was evident on her face as she looked to Lurch, as if he could help start the conversation in some way.
Down in the parlour, some of the staff had been busy. One had erected a shade screen and brought out some of Fanny’s clothes, so when Lurch set her down, two of the female staff moved to take her behind the screen, as Lurch went to arrange tea and a castle tower of cakes. Fanny could barely stand, but the maids did all the work, to remove the stained and sodden gown from her shivering form. Each of the maids looked so troubled and concerned for the Lady Fanny, who was always enjoyed by the Roxburg family when she came to stay with Bart. She rarely caused much trouble, or asked for special treatments, as Bart sought always to tend to her needs personally. This was the least they could do. By the time they had finished, and taken away her spoiled belongings, she emerged in a robe, and special slippers, her hair had been brushed down and long around her shoulders. She thanked each of them for their kindness, and then walked slowly to a seat that was near Alice. Alice herself, might not have been popular with some of the help, but there was always a few willing to overlook troubles in the past.
Lurch lumbered back in with a tea trolley, piled high with exquisite cakes, and finger food, as well as a large pot of tea and sweet china cups, that tinkered merrily as he pushed the trolley along.
“Tea….is served.” He said in his deep voice, offering to pour both Alice and Fanny a cup each. “Yes please, Lurch.” Fanny gestured with her hands, drawing up her legs under her, getting as comfortable as she could in her chair. One of the butlers stoked the fire pit, to offer the room more heat, and though the sadness still hung in the air, at least for now, Fanny was warm, dry and being seen too.
Alice then pointed out that Fanny was sporting an engagement ring. Fanny had almost forgot about it, in all the excitement.“Your brother asked me to marry him, yes, Alice. But…whether he still wants to now…remains to be seen.” Holding a tea cup, she took a sip, and then sighed softly. “What a terrible night this has been.”
[www.youtube.com] (Lurch playing the harpsichord)
Lurch had done serving the tea, and made his way to the harpsichord, to play the girls a tune, that would hopefully lift their spirits.