For One Soul
Three days had passed since Ciel and his parents had wished for the return of Wishing Angel Annabelle Marie Phantomhive, but things weren't looking good as there had been absolutely no sign that they had succeeded. Had they failed?
Were our efforts useless? Ciel wondered as he looked out into the unforgiving, pouring rain. Were our wishes not enough after all? I had hoped… but I guess not… and Sebastian hasn't spoken to me about it either… What will I say to him?
"Young Master, may I come in?" Sebastian called through the door after two brief knocks. "I have your afternoon tea and snack."
"Yes, come in," he responded easily.
As the butler walked in pushing a cart with tea and a covered silver platter, Ciel's attention remained on the horrid weather outside which really felt like it reflected his inner emotions. Pluto's lonely howl could be heard outside.
"Where are my parents?" Ciel asked.
"Ah yes, Tanaka took Lord Vincent and Lady Rachel to the Midford Estate to surprise them with their return," Sebastian answered. "Then all of them will be returning here prior to dinner before spending the rest of the evening here."
"…I see," he replied emptily.
Sebastian poured the tea and set up the platter before him, lifting the cover. "Today's afternoon snack consists of a light mixed berry pudding, made with the finest blueberries, blackberries, and strawberries. It'll be matched with a fine-"
"What happens now, Sebastian?" Ciel cut off suddenly.
The butler was taken aback. That question had caught him off-guard. "Pardon me?"
"What do I do now? My revenge is complete, and my parents have been resurrected," he sighed, which was most unlike him. "I've done more than what most thirteen-year-olds have, and I have suffered more humiliation and pain than many."
Sebastian smiled. "And though you were supposed to have your soul given to me upon completion of the Contact," he added, "you were saved and protected once more by Annabelle."
"Don't mock me!" Ciel barked at him.
"I'm only stating the facts," he defended calmly. "I supposed the only thing you can do now is to live out the rest of your human life as you wish. After all, you have your parents back, your status, a lovely fiancée, and you've already completed the revenge you had set out to do when you summoned me."
Ciel gritted his teeth. "You make it sound so easy," he hissed. Then he exhaled, "What's on my schedule this afternoon?"
There was a knock on the door before Meylene poked her head through the door.
"Umm… Young Master, sorry to disturb you but you have a mysterious visitor at the door," she informed. "She insisted on staying at the door as to prevent getting the floor wet. She was wearing a cloak so I didn't see her face, but she sounds unmistakeably female. Should I tell her to leave?"
An insane glimmer of hope shot through Ciel, but he maintained his uncaring composure. "I'll go down and see to them," he answered calmly, "thank you, Meylene."
Ciel quickly made his way to the door, Sebastian following right behind him.
Could it be…? He thought.
Sebastian opened the door to reveal a figure enveloped in a large brown cloak that hid her identity. Even in the cold hard rain that had soaked her cloak, the mysterious figure remained virtually unperturbed. However that familiar motherly aura surrounding her was unmistakable to Ciel.
"Are you Ciel Phantomhive?" the all-too familiar voice asked innocently.
Without a second thought, Ciel leapt to tackle the figure into a hug, getting caught in the downpour of rain without care. His arms were wrapped around her waist, and he buried his face against her wet cloak.
"Anna! Don't mess with me!" he scowled, "It's not funny!"
The figure's hood fell back to reveal beautiful and elegant silver hair. Her bright azure eyes were filled with love as she hugged him, Fangorn Angelista draped on her shoulder, cat-smiling at the child.
"It's alright now, Ciel," she hushed gently. "Everything's okay now. I'm back."
Sebastian held an umbrella over them and smiled at Anna. His voice was velvety soft when he spoke. "Welcome back, Annabelle."
She smiled back at him, her eyes filled with love. "I'm home."
After Anna had greeted the other servants informing her of her return and things had settled down, Anna and Sebastian were in the study with Ciel, Anna redressed in her maid uniform, the Phantomhive badge pinned proudly on her chest. Meanwhile Fang and Kylee were in the den grooming each other by the fireplace, catching up on the past times.
"Well, it feels good to be back," Anna sighed contently. "Thank you, Ciel, for wishing me back."
He nodded solemnly. "I almost thought I had failed," he responded. "I didn't think that my wish alone would be able to bring you back."
"It didn't," she agreed, "not exactly. The terms were that if one million souls supported and wished for me to return, then I would be allowed to. Should it be any less, then no. The soul who was the last to wish for me was none other than that dear little infant Adrian we rescued from Lawrence Kingsley. He had a desire to see me and Fang again, so it became the very last wish."
Sebastian smiled. "And it is very good to have you back," he told her.
"Sebastian, Anna," Ciel addressed firmly, "as you know, my parents will be returning from the Midford Estate in a few hours with Lizzy's family, so I expect you'll need some time to prepare dinner. Do not disappoint me."
"Yes, My Lord," Sebastian responded with a bow.
"Of course, Ciel," Anna added lightly with a polite curtsy.
The moment they both had left the study, Sebastian forced Anna against the wall and kissed her with fierce passion, feeling the desperate need to devour her.
"S-Sebastian!" she gasped, out of breath as she pulled away.
He pressed his forehead against hers. "You have no idea what you've done to me, Annabelle," he told her, his arms wrapped firmly around her waist. "You've managed to torture me more than I could have ever imagined in the past three days. And it's not the kind of torture I like either. Perhaps it's about time I pay it all back to you… in a different way."
She blushed as she realized what he meant. "But Sebastian, we have to focus on making dinner right now," she protested. "Can't this wait until later?"
"No," he hissed, sweeping her up into his arms as he raced her to his room with inhuman speed, shutting the door as he tossed her onto the bed, pinning her down like a lion on its prey, his eyes glowing demonically as desire and lust rushed through him.
"S-Sebastian…" she murmured, her cheeks red. She had already put up an angel barrier instinctively, knowing that what Sebastian wanted to do to her was probably not going to be quiet.
He grinned darkly, his lips brushing her ear as he whispered, "In the next ten minutes, I will make you regret having left me for those horrid three days."
Fang and Kylee went to the kitchen, hoping to find any of the servants to get some fresh milk. Instead they only found Sebastian working on dinner alone.
"Hey Sebastian, where's Anna?" the angelic cat inquired curiously.
He smiled all-too innocently. "She's… reflecting on what she has put me through the past three days," he answered as he set down a bowl of milk for the two cats.
The feline blinked at him for a moment before padding to the milk. "I don't want to know," he said. "I've a feeling, but… again, I don't want to know. So… what are you making tonight for when the Midford family comes for dinner?"
"I've decided a nice roast beef will serve as the main course," he answered, "and a light garden salad will be an excellent appetizer. Once Anna joins me, I'll be asking her to also prepare a crème de la crème soup, a special recipe passed down the Phantomhive line, one of which she will be very familiar with. Dessert will be a rich chocolate gateau cake with truffles shredded on top." He sighed, "so much to do, so little time."
Anna stumbled slightly into the kitchen, blushing furiously as she saw Sebastian before looking away. Quickly regaining her composure, she looked back at him. "I-Is there anything you want me to work on?" she asked.
The butler smiled at her. "Actually, first, may I request something from you?"
"Y-Yes?" she squeaked quietly.
He leaned in close to her, wrapping an arm around her waist as his mouth hovered over hers. "Perhaps it's time we renew our Blood Contract, after all, it was broken upon your death," he said. "And naturally, because I am the one requesting it, only you have the right to break it if you so choose to."
"Yes," she breathed, her voice barely a whisper.
He smiled devilishly, leaning in to kiss her as he bit both his and her lip, allowing their blood to mingle as a red ring of light glowed on the floor around them, sealing their renewed contract.
As they pulled apart with his arm still around her, his smile turned flattering. "Please prepare a crème de la crème soup, if you will," he told her. "You know the one I'm talking about."
"Oh?" she said, suddenly alert and sounding very intrigued as she pulled away from him. "I haven't made that recipe since… well, since I made it for my siblings when I was still alive. Wow… it's been so long, do I even remember how to do it right?"
The butler pulled out a recipe card. "Well, the recipe for it is here, if you need a refresher," he said. "I've already looked at it anyway, so if you do need any help, feel free to ask me."
"Excellent," Anna replied, "then I'll get started on it right away."
"It's such a relief and a joy to know that you're both alive and well," Lizzy's mother Frances Midford said joyfully. "It's hard to admit, but I was worried about young Ciel and how he'd grow up to be, but over the past couple of years, it seems that he's been doing quite well."
Vincent smiled. "That is our Ciel, alright," he agreed.
"And now, we'll be here for him to take care of him," Rachel added cheerfully.
As they arrived, Tanaka opened the carriage door for them and they saw Sebastian standing by the door, courteously awaiting their arrival.
"Good evening," Sebastian greeted with a warm smile as he bowed to them. "Dinner is ready."
"Ah, Sebastian," Frances said distastefully, "looking as indecent as ever, I see."
The butler couldn't help but look uneasy by the very strong and scary lady. "Forgive me, Marchioness, but please pardon my unsightly appearance this once," he requested politely.
Vincent chuckled easily. "Please be reasonable, dear sister," he noted lightly, "this should be a time for rejoicing. Please pay no mind to the minor details."
"… Very well," she said reluctantly, respecting her brother's simple request. But she shot a quick glare at Sebastian anyway.
Entering the manor, they were greeted by a beloved maid the Phantomhives had feared they had lost forever.
"Good evening, everyone," Head Maid Annabelle greeted with a curtsey and a beautiful smile. "It is a pleasure to meet you all."
"Anna!" Lizzy cheered, leaping to hug the maid, wrapping her arms around her waist. "Those clothes don't look cute on you at all!"
"Lizzy!" Strict Marchioness of Midford Frances scowled, "It is not proper for you to engage in such improper actions!"
"I-I'm sorry, Mother," the young lady responded quietly as she pulled away.
Meanwhile Vincent and Rachel were overjoyed at her return, but in the presence of the Midford family, they could only express their joy with heart-warming smiles.
Anna chuckled, "Now if you please come this way. Young Master Ciel is awaiting you all in the dining hall."
"Lord Vincent, Lady Rachel, may I occupy a few moments of your time?" Sebastian requested quietly and politely.
The pair nodded while Anna led the Midford family off towards the dining hall.
"What is it, Sebastian?" Vincent asked.
He smiled. "There is something in particular I'd like to discuss with you about, and I've already talked with the Young Master about this issue prior to this as well," he began. "This won't take long…"
After dinner, the two families enjoyed a quiet evening chat in the den, sharing stories while Lizzy ran off with Anna and Paula playing "dress up with the maids"… again. After evening tea, the Midfords eventually left the Phantomhive Manor to return home, leaving the family of three and their servants alone once more.
"Well, it's been a pleasant evening," Vincent sighed in content while stroking Kylee's fur while Fang sat by the fireplace, "and it's a pleasure to have you back as well, Annabelle."
The maid smiled happily. "Thank you, Vincent," she replied, "I'm happy to be back."
Rachel stood up and went to hug the ancestor. "Welcome back, Anna!" she cheered. "It's great to know you'll be staying with us!"
"Tch," Ciel scoffed under his breath, "making us all worry like that."
"Ah yes, that reminds me," Sebastian noted, exchanging an amused glance with Vincent Phantomhive before reaching out to hold Anna's hand in both of his. "Anna, we haven't known each other for a really long time, nevertheless, I'm sure that we're both crystal clear on our feelings."
"Yes, that's true," she said, blushing as she thought about their very… interesting encounters.
"Nevertheless," he continued, going down on one knee, "though I find this tradition of humans completely unnecessary and unreasonably orthodox… to make you happy, I'm willing to put up with it. So with the permission of both Lords of Phantomhive…"
Anna's eyes widened as she held her breath, suddenly realizing what was going to happen next, especially since he pulled out a solid gold ring.
"Annabelle Marie Phantomhive, will you marry me?"