Fire and Blood
The Courtship of Lady Minerva Parnell
November 26, 1841
Minerva bid farewell to the women surrounding her. Her father waited nearby, a sad look to his eyes. Minerva promised to come calling soon, and bid each of the ladies to do the same; it had been too long since she had seen them.
She walked to her father and hooked her arm through his at the elbow, resting a finely gloved hand on him. "Oh father! Today was beautiful. And did you see? It's begun to snow!" She spoke lightly, giddy still from the large doses of gossip. Her father nodded absentmindedly but Minerva ignored it and forged ahead. "I hope to return soon, Amelia spoke of having a grand Christmas ball, Mary says her family will host a dance as well for the new year. Oh! There will be so many to attend, we'll go won't we father?" Balls meant beautiful gowns as well as the men who would attend. There were several that had been caught by Minerva's fine looks and upbringing, surely one would meet her father's high standards if only he would speak to them. She wondered quickly who would have come calling today or left a small token of their affection.
"I'll see what I can do dear." He nodded again as he escorted her out of the palace's walls. It was a noncommittal answer Minerva knew to expect but one that threatened to crush her spirits regardless. "I hadn't expected to be so late, I'm afraid we'll have to walk home in this." He paused, halting their walk to take in the city springing to life in the early night. "I should send a man to collect a carriage for us."
Blue eyes looked far more excitedly on the night bustle beginning. "Oh, I think a night walk would do us well. The air is so crisp, its not far father, please let us continue." She did not plead, but there was a tone that told her father she would be disappointed should he refuse her request.
Looking into her face he found it hard to say no. He sighed, "Very well. You are warm enough?"
Minnie nodded pleasantly, "It's lined with fox fur, I can barely feel the cold." She touched softly at the gray wool that cloaked her from her the wind and chill that hung in the air. Beneath it her skirts rustled, but the many layers of deep turquoise did well to keep her insulated. They turned right down the street, the sound of vendors closing shop, of men and women hawking their meat pies, of laughter coming from the nearby taverns was a cacophony of life that Minnie rarely saw.
All around her people bustled on their way, the only ones Minnie saw were dressed just as finely as they. Ahead of them, a tall figure caught Minnie's eye. He walked against the flow, his size only one aspect to catch her attention. There was a darkness that clung to him but Minnie chastised herself for thinking as if she were in one of her beloved poems. Her father stiffened though as he too caught sight of the man.
Garrett had hoped to wait til the morning to speak with this man, but it seemed unavoidable now. He clapped his daughter's hand. "This will take only a moment. Just a bit of left over business to attend to." He sounded resentful, but Minnie obliged even though she had no choice.
"Drago Jacobs, my daughter Minerva. We were just on our way home, if we could keep this brief, I'd be much obliged." He seemed to introduce the two reluctantly, his body moving slightly in front of Minnie as if shielding her. She groaned inside, wondering why her father would act in such a way. There was something different about the man, but Minnie could not help but find him handsome. She smiled at the man, curtsying as she did so.
Behind them, men of the sort that were largely invisible to those such as Minnie Parnell, for they wore no pleasant clothing and did not smell of fine soaps or perfumes, gathered to seek a target. Minnie, with her fine clothes and distracted guardian was a fine target indeed. Dirtied from a life on the streets, and bold from the persistent hunger the three men approached. Her cloak would fetch a nice price, the coin she was sure to carry would be a pleasant bonus.
My Interests can be found here
They moved as sheep. Finely dressed prey with their heart’s blood pulsing. Throbbing. A wash of emotion with each beat of their life. Most were excited; worried; fearful. Their thoughts almost assuredly about trivial affairs that would be forgotten in the blink of an eye. It was in their blood--blood that told a very distinct story. He listened to them all. He sensed them, noted them and discarded each one as he pushed through the evening crowds.
On occasion gentlemen nodded to him with respect. Drago returned each nod muttering a greeting. Tonight his interests were focused on one individual: Lord Parnell.
He moved through the crowds as if gliding through water, his walking stick clicked onto the ground lightly with each movement. His dark eyes reflecting the glow of gaslight torches lining the cobblestone streets. Even with his pale skin, the life and color in those dark eyes was that of a hunter. Not a single soul ever noticed the predator dressed in the finest sheep’s clothing.
Lord Drago Walsh was impeccably dressed as any well-born gentleman of this modern age: a fine suit of black cotton trousers, a pressed white shirt and a deep red silk vest. His ensemble was completed within a thick black tail-coat, and accessories of a top hat and pure white gloves. His walking stick was pure black and topped a silver head of a wolf. Somewhat counter to the latest fashion, Drago let his long black hair fall freely past his shoulders, and his lack of mustache or beard was a topic of discussion more than once among such who cared to speak of it. Many of the older gentlemen thought him still some impetuous youth merely posing as a gentleman of stature and wealth. Not one of those gentlemen dared speak such an insult to the man’s face. In truth, few had such courage.
The crowds parted as if on cue, and Drago spotted the Lord Parnell and his beloved Daughter almost immediately. He smirked slightly has he moved amongst the crowd toward them; letting Lord Parnell take notice.
With gentle eyes he bowed slightly as Minerva was introduced. Had the old man not placed himself ahead he would have offered to kiss her hand. Instead he turned his attention to Lord Parnell as they shook hands.
“My apologies for disturbing your evening, Sir Parnell. I will not keep you long. I simply wanted to confer about your meeting with Lord Westmore earlier today. I assume you and he have come to some accord finally?”
Even as Drago spoke, he spotted the miscreants shifting in the shadows of the nearby alley. He turned his head just slightly as he nodded, only half listening to Parnell’s response. The old windbag always had far too much to say about Lord Westmore—most of it rather unkind. His true interest—three of them—were slowly daring closer toward the Lady. The trio would suit his needs perfectly. He could sense their hunger, and taste their adrenaline in the air. Such feeble minds needed only slightest change of mind. Just a whisper on the wind to offered those three desperate souls a most advantageous plot: Ransom.
They had only reach out and pull her into the alley….
Last edited by MerlotBeauty; 11-28-2012 at 05:45 PM.
Fire and Blood
The lead man stopped abruptly, his pause causing mutters of profanities from his companions. A gloved hand, the fabric torn and thin, rubbed his temple. A smile formed across his face however, as he turned to his accomplices. "Change o' plans boys." He spoke in hushed tones as their betters swirled around them, not wanting to dirty themselves. "She'll fetch us a pretty penny." The men looked back to their leader, perplexed, but the hole in their bellies needed filling and if that's what he wanted to do...well it was worth the gamble. They nodded their agreement and fell in behind him as they closed the distance to the pretty lass.
Minnie listened with increasing aggravation as her father made disparaging remarks about Lord Westmore. While it was her father who had wanted this chance meeting to be brief, he was now rambling at length about the lack of moral character and downright skullduggery of his fellow Lord.
She made do with taking in the form and voice of this Lord Drago. She had never heard his name uttered before, but he spoke pleasantly and seemed quite agreeable particularly compared to her father at the moment. She smiled politely, albeit a bit too friendly, on the chance Drago's eyes returned to her face. He must sit the House of Lords as well, Minnie deduced,
"You'll be coming with us, lady." Something sharp pressed against her back as a dirty hand gripped her arm. She turned, shocked and then disgusted as she saw who held her. Fear surfaced as her brain connected the pressure to the crude dagger held on her. "Father?!" She cried out as she felt herself pulled back to the crowds. She screamed, finally drawing attention from the masses, but it was a short lived noise. A second man grabbed at her and shoved a hand over her mouth. It tasted of coal dust and grime. She stumbled, her fine cloak tearing against the dagger. Both men caught her before she fell to the ground. They held her up by the crooks of her elbows and dragged her back towards the alley.
Her father turned and his eyes shot open. "Minnie! No!" Without a second thought he threw himself at one of the men near his sunshine, and grunted as he felt something pierce him beneath his arm. He stared down where a knife had pierced him and grunted. He saw Minnie being dragged away and took a step forward. "Someone...someone stop them!"
My Interests can be found here
“You, Sir! Go, find a Constable immediately!" Drago shouted to a well-dressed passerby. The man immediately saw the drama unfolding, and turned, shouting for police. Drago then turned back to Lord Parnell.
“Someone! Police! My Daughter! Someone help her. I swear to God I will rip those miscreants- if they hurt a single hair on her-” Lord Parnell grew deep red in the face, his husky frame shaking.
"I will follow and see if I cannot get to her!” Drago let his gaze bore into the older man, who stood both frozen and enraged with worry and panic. “Stay here for the Constable. I will go after these curs and see to your daughter’s safe return!”
The pale man turned then, dashing into the alley. Once he was in the shadows, he slowed his pace. Had he chosen to act he would have been upon the miscreants. Instead, he watched them. He watched her. She struggled, and he found himself admiring her strength. Even as they held a knife against her, her fabric ripped, the hem turning black against the filthy alley streets. He hair, so primly styled was rapidly falling about, the ringlets framing her flushed face nicely, it added to her beauty.
In that moment Drago understood why his Majesty chose her above all others. There was something about her nature. Her smell. There was a light in her soul and even now things deep inside stirred.
For the moment he continued to follow. He watched, and kept himself well hidden. He was curious to see what she would do with these men. Would she simply cow to them? Would she fight back? From the shadows, the vampire smirked. He had a feeling he already knew the answer….
Last edited by MerlotBeauty; 11-30-2012 at 12:02 AM.
Fire and Blood
Minnie continued to scream into her captor's hand, muffled and no one seemed to be coming to her rescue. There were three of them, that much she could tell, but the alley was dark and she hadn't a clue if there were more waiting. She dug in her heels to the dirty ground, scraping them in defiance.
The men halted, at least one of them spitting at her. Her face set hard into a scowl, reacting to both the sense of indignation and roaring fear. The pressure on her back disappeared, the miserable cretin had dropped the blade. The men began to talk amongst themselves.
"Well what do we do wit' 'er now, boss?"
"Close yer mouth."
"How much ya think she's worth?"
"I said close yer mouth!"
Minnie flinched as the boss slapped one of the other men holding her. But thank god, they were distracted by their own petty argument. There wasn't a single sound of anyone coming down the alley. Fear came up her throat as she wondered why her father wasn't here, why there weren't any police coming towards them. She would need to fend for herself.
She steeled her nerves, knowing she had to act quickly while they were still distracted. Her knees buckled, sending Minerva falling out of their grasp and towards the filthy, wet ground. Her hands caught herself, the fine gloves soaking through with a mixture that made her nose crinkle up. The men were taken by surprise, but she couldn't stay like this on the ground a moment longer.
Minnie launched herself up and forward, stumbling against her long skirts and tripping on the hem. She heard fabric tearing again, but it allowed her feet to find purchase with the slippery mud. She took two steps before she felt something grabbing at her again. "No! No! Help me, someone help me!"
My Interests can be found here
It was rather easy for the three men to overtake the wee Minerva Parnell again. It was a known fact that large, heavy skirts were next to impossible to run in, and gain any speed or distance.
“ ‘ere, now lads. ‘old her good and steady.” The “leader” of the small rabble towered over the highborn lady then. His chipped and stained teeth bared before her. “I dun think the bitch will try that again.”
To drive his point home, the man let the palm of his hand fly across the woman’s face. He laughed humorlessly, then, his sickening breath puffing clouds of pungent, sticky vapor over the girl’s face. “Now, then, lads. Take her into the factory and tie her to one o’ the posts. Eh, and keep ‘er silent too. We don’t need ‘er screaming down ev’ry Constable on the block.”
Not far away among the trash and shadows, Draco stood and watched the exchange. Even as a tick worked in his jaw at watching the Lady be manhandled and hit, he encouraged it; such simple minds, so easy to sway. He had but to whisper on the air, and they met his expectations.
Still he did not want them to push them too far. Balance and control. Bring her to the edge of terror, without letting it spill over. Let the boys—the cattle—think they had the power. It would not be long now.
Remaining at a distance, he snuck into the factory, and perched himself above, nearly invisible among the beams, chains and pulleys. From there he watched as the boys did as their leader bid, securing her in old dirty rope and silencing her with torn shreds of her own apparel.
The three men stood, then, one of the three holding a simple oil lantern in his hand. They each snickered and laughed mocking the struggling Lady.
“Alright boys, now we need to set the ransom. Whaddaya say, she’s worth at least a couple hundred pounds. Perhaps even a few horses as bonus for us not sending her back in pieces.” The leader grinned.
“Do we get to play with the girl first? We don’t have to give her back all pretty an’ perfect do we?” Another one leered toward the girl.
The Leader punched the man then. “Y’ell not touch her in any wrong fas’ion! Got it. If you even touch ‘er, I’ll cut off your bits myself.”
The monster in the shadows smirked. It was time.
Drago dropped from the ceiling, and crouched among tables, assembly lines, and other machinery. He made no sound as he moved, and the discussion among the men grew more heated. The leader, without the help of influence was losing his position of power. It was all as expected.
“As a matter of fact, gentlemen, the Lady will be returning with me.” Draco smirked as he darted a look to the Lady Parnell. “If you will remain calm, Lady, I will dispatch of these knaves.”
And so he did. With unnatural speed, Drago unleashed his nature, as he attacked all three men at once. They scrambled across the ground and Drago bared his fangs, tearing into one of the men’s jugular. The other two scrambled up, and advanced on the monster as if to attack. The man in Drago’s grip choked and wheezed no longer able to scream as blood splattered and poured from his neck. He discarded the man, then and turned to the others. With a half-hearted motion he back handed the man with the lantern and he flew back, falling among some boxes. As the glass of the lantern shattered the cool, dry boxes quickly caught fire. The man screamed in agony as he caught fire. There was one man left.
With a dangerous look in his eyes, Draco turned his attention to that man. Blood dripped from the monster’s lips and chin, his fangs stained red. Like a cat ready to pounce he slowly walked forward, and then he was upon the other man. With a blur of motion the last of the criminals died. His neck twisted almost fully around.
As if he just finished some menial task, he turned to Lady Minerva Parnell. His expression softened, as he moved to her and started to work on her binds. “There now, Lady, you are safe now. Let us be away as soon as possible.”