In the vast expanse of the Atlantic, a lone vessel progressed east from west, looking like an ant amidst the endless blue.
"...The time has come, Titus Hart. Your training is complete..."
The vessel was a cargo ship. SS Saint Helena was the name painted on it's hull. A few sailors milled about on deck, working the rigging and splicing rope. They were human. It was easy to tell. The way they moved. The way they smelled. Titus stood on the port-side, his pale hands leaning on the smooth timbers of the gunwale as he stared at the blurry sky-blue/sea-blue horizon in the north. The curls of his hair billowed gently under his wide-brimmed hat, like the tails of his coat.
"...I would be lying if I said Boston will be sad to see the back of you, half-breed. But continue with your carry-ons in England, and your masters will not have the reservations forced upon us. You will be killed..."
If the crew of the ship were curious about the their mysterious passengers, then they did not show it. The two of them were free to do as they wished with no questions. At this moment, the other of the two made his way across the deck. He was a short, old figure of a man, with a hunch-back and one squint-eye.
"Master Titus," he said as he appeared beside his charge. Titus could hear the distaste in the old man's voice. It seemed almost painful for old Guido to call Titus 'master.' It was amusing for the younger vampire. "You should not stay out in the sun for so long. You would not want to blemish your appearance and dissatisfy your master upon your meeting."
Titus did not break his gaze from the northern horizon. "I am wearing this ridiculous hat, am I not? And besides... there is plenty of food up here, I will not go hungry."
Guido gasped and stuttered, looking at Titus incredulously. "T-... Know your place, Master Titus."
Titus regarded old man briefly in the corner of his eye, his trademark ghost of a smile on his lips. He talked the talk but he knew he could no longer walk it. Everything had changed now. America was behind him. The ever-present awareness of that fact was making him more and more nervous day by day.
Guido left the young vampire's side and headed off below deck. In the endless blue, the SS Saint Helena moved ever-east.
The carriage journey was long but not uncomfortable. At least, not physically so.
Guido had left Titus in the hands of another on the docks of the famed Port of London. This new handler did not call Titus 'master,' nor even give Titus his name. Just a warning that he could come of his own free will or be delivered unconscious to his master.
Now his nerves danced, especially so when the huge mansion of a house came into view. Even under the hoofbeats of the horses that drove the carriage along the road, Titus could hear his heart thumping. This was the culmination of his training. His entire life had been crafted to lead him here, to this place he did not recognize. This country he did not know. Where people spoke with that ridiculous accent.
The carriage pulled up at the front door of the house and Titus followed his handler inside to the lobby where he was told to wait. The cold air and proper shade was comforting, and he willed himself to be calm and cool. Left alone with his thoughts for a few moments, his eeys scanned the sizable lobby and he realized that this was no ordinary family he'd been sent to work for. These aristocrats were of highest class. It was beginning to make sense why the Phantom's Guild couldn't kill him.
"Oh, look at you..." Titus' train of thought was interrupted and his attention drawn to a woman who was approaching. "So grown up, so handsome..." His eyebrows furrowed for a second before he could school his face to neutrality. This was his master. This woman. "...my little Titus."
She was beautiful. Almost, impossibly so. And somehow, someway, in the shadows on the edge of his memory, he recognized her face. Though the struggle to remember only brought the horrified face of his mother to his mind.
"Nooooo! Give me back my babyyyy!"
She came around to his front after circling him and he found himself looking at her back. So delicate and petite she was, yet she could be a thousand for all he knew. Full-blooded vampires did not age the way he did. "If you don't remember, I'm Ixia." She giggled, then turned to face him again. "It's so good to see you again."
He didn't know what to say. Was it good to see her again? He seriously doubted it. If he opened his mouth this second, something sharp and tasteless would come out, so he elected simply to give her his eye contact. Statue-like, chin not proudly raised, not humbly low either, he simply awaited her instruction.