A New Guest in the Phantomhive Estate
"There's an abandoned building that has a demon's scent radiating from it," Michael said. "I think Anna is probably there."
"Michael's right," Fang said. "My bond with Anna is calling me there."
Sebastian nodded. "I can sense her through the Blood Contract as well," he agreed. Anna? Anna? Can you hear me? He called telepathically.
Dammit Sebastian! Her voice snarled in his mind. Come and get me already! Do you have any idea what I'm being put through right now?
"Oh my, oh my," he murmured aloud, "Anna seems to be in a pinch right now. We should get going."
"Is she okay?" Michael demanded, and Sebastian nodded in reply while answering Anna in his head.
We're coming, Anna, he told her kindly, just hang on until we arrive. Are you unharmed?
With the exception of being branded with a demon rune, yes, she responded, But being tied up in demon cuffs isn't good, considering angels can't break and escape from them. Please help before Laurence tries to do anything to me, including trying to take my soul.
Yes, My Lady, Sebastian reassured her, looking at Michael and Fang. "Let's go."
Anna struggled fruitlessly against the demon cuffs restraining her hands and feet, tying her up against the wall. The windowless room had only a single light bulb that illuminated the room, and Anna was tied up against the south wall, facing the only door that led the way out, while there was no east wall, leading into another room, but Anna knew what lie inside the dark room.
"Let me go!" she screeched at her captor, but the demon smiled.
"Now why would I allow such an elegant angel escape my grasp?" Laurence Kingsley responded with a dark smile, reaching out to grip her shoulders. "I intend to drain you of most of your blood before I take your soul. It will definitely be something to look forward to, considering only very, very lucky demons are given the privilege to take such a pure angel's soul."
Sebastian… where are you? Anna thought, hoping that the demon would come to save her soon.
There was a baby's cry in the next room, and she glared at him. "Let the infant go," she hissed. "I only let myself get captured by you to know that he was safe! You have me now! Let him go!"
Laurence stroked her cheek. "That child isn't even yours, why do you care so much about him?" he inquired.
"I heard the wishes of that child's heart," she explained. "I felt the child's desire to find his mother and father. Let him go!"
"There's no point in searching then," Laurence told her. "The child's parents are both dead."
"Liar!" Anna screeched, but the rune placed on her throat seared her, sending waves of pain flurrying through her. She coughed, and blood dripped from her lips. "I know that child's mother and father still lives!"
Easily, the demon wiped her blood away with his fingers. "Stop fighting it, Anna," he sighed. "Let the rune consume you, let the pain take you."
Anna let out a bitter scream as the rune glowed red, and suddenly the door burst open, Sebastian, Michael, and Fang dashed in, Michael leaping at Laurence angrily, and the demon leapt away.
"Anna!" Fang shouted out, leaping to scratch fruitlessly at the cuffs restraining his bonded.
"It won't work, Fang," Sebastian said, grabbing the cuffs and effortlessly snapping them in his hands, the binds vanishing into smoke as Anna collapsed into his arms, and he placed a hand over the rune on her neck, and she gasped as her eyes shot open in pain before it gradually lessoned before vanishing. "These are demon cuffs; it's designed so that only a demon can break them."
"Anna, are you okay?" Fang asked worriedly.
She nodded, pulling out of Sebastian's arms, the demonic rune have vanished from her neck, leaving no traces of it ever being there. Taking a deep breath, she took a shaky step forward. "I have to… save… that child…" she breathed, and her knees buckled under her, and Sebastian caught her, easily holding her up against his chest.
"Anna, you're more hurt than you think!" Fang told her, noticing the red burn marks on her wrists and ankles. "The demon cuffs burned you!"
Weakly, Anna raised an outstretched hand towards the dark room, and her form glimmered with a dim white glow. "I have to…" she murmured, and a light illuminated from the other room while Laurence and Michael fought, a glowing, crying bundle of light floating over to Anna's hands, and Sebastian released her, gripping her shoulders to keep her upright as she embraced the infant into her arms, the light disappearing as Anna hummed quietly to hush the child.
"What is an infant doing with a demon?" Fang said in surprise. "Anna, do you know this child?"
Anna smiled softly before she closed her eyes, clutching the baby against her chest before she collapsed, Sebastian holding her.
"Anna! Anna!" he exclaimed.
Michael growled at Laurence. "You're going to pay for this, demon," he hissed. "How dare you hurt her!"
"Don't think this is over, angel," he responded with a smirk. "I've still yet to eat her soul." With that said, he vanished in a flurry of flames, and the room was peaceful once more.
"Ahhh…" Anna sighed, blinking open her eyes, looking up at her worried angel boyfriend, twisting her head behind her to see Sebastian staring down at her with a smile. Fang brushed against her legs with a worried purr. "Oh, I'm alright," she assured. "Don't worry about me. These burn marks will fade soon enough." She pulled the white blanket away from the baby's face, revealing the soft pale skin, the short brown hair, and the large blue eyes staring up at them in curiosity.
"Who's child is this?" Michael implored. "What is it doing with a demon?"
"This child's name is Adrian," she explained. "I was told that through a memory of his. His mother and father are unknown, but I know that they're still alive somewhere. Until then, I will take care of the child." She looked at Sebastian. "Or will Ciel protest this child's presence in the Phantomhive Estate?"
The demon helped her up. "Provided that the child does not cause the Young Master any trouble," he began, "I am quite positive that he will allow him there."
Allowing his wings to lift him up into the air and look at the baby, Fang gazed at Adrian with sharp golden eyes. "Quite a young infant, isn't he?" he commented, "I'd say about two years old or so?"
Anna nodded. "Along with James Kurt, this child's heart called out to me, wanting to see his mother and father," she told them. "A child's wish is one of the loudest, and so I tracked it back here, but the only way to get in without causing a stir was to allow myself to be abducted by demon Laurence Kingsley."
"And here the Young Master thought that I failed in protecting you," Sebastian chuckled, shaking his head. "And yet it was you who allowed yourself to be kidnapped."
She shrugged. "Of course," she said. "I wouldn't allow myself to be kidnapped by a demon that easily and for absolutely no reason. Now… let's go back before Ciel gets worried."
"Worried?" the butler responded in amusement. "The Young Master? Never."
"If anyone's worried about anything," Michael said stiffly, "I'm worried about you."
Anna chuckled quietly. "I appreciate your concern, Michael," she told him affectionately. "But really, I'm alright. And if I'm not, I will be."
He sighed, "That doesn't reassure me too much."
She smiled. "Let's go," she said.
"Young Master," Sebastian called as they entered the estate.
Ciel walked out from the study nearby the stairwell, and he gave Anna a brief once-over. "Well… it looks like you fulfilled your orders after all, Sebastian," he said. Then he was aware of the white bundle in Anna's arms. "Is that… a baby, Anna?"
She nodded with a smile. "Ciel," she said softly, "meet Adrian. I hope you don't mind, but I will be taking care of him until his real mother and father can be found."
"This child was in the demon Laurence Kingsley's possession, and Anna allowed herself to get captured to rescue him," Michael explained.
Sebastian pat her on the head. "You should get some rest, Anna," he told her. "You've been through a lot today."
She shook her head. "I'm alright," she assured. "For now, I'll take Adrian to my room to get him cleaned up and put to bed. Afterwards I'll help out around the mansion."
"Absolutely not," Fang protested, looking up at Anna. "You've lost so much blood, a demon-vampire drank your blood and took a lick at your soul, and you've saved a child from the grasp of a demon. You've been held in demon cuffs, burned with a demon rune, nearly killed by an angel, and you nearly died. There's no way that you can work today."
"I'm okay," she replied. "Really, I'm fine."
Ciel looked at Sebastian. "Sebastian, prepare some tea. We have an uninvited guest, and I don't mean anyone present here," he said, frowning. "Lau is here."
"Understood," he responded automatically.
Michael looked at Anna. "Okay, well… if everything's good here, I'm going to head back to work," he informed. "I'll check back with you later, okay? I'll also bring down a crib for the baby."
Anna nodded with a smile. "Thanks for coming, Michael," she thanked quietly.
He gave her a quick kiss on the cheek before nodding to Sebastian and Ciel before leaving out the front door.
"Anna?" Fang said gently. "Shall we go?"
Anna nodded. "I'll come to help prepare some pastries afterwards for our guest," she told Sebastian, and he dipped his head in response.
Fang and Anna took baby Adrian back to her room, while Ciel went to speak to their guest and Sebastian went to go prepare some afternoon tea and pastries.
Not long afterwards, Anna and Fang joined Sebastian in the kitchen, where he was just taking out some pastries from the oven. Anna had changed into one of her spare uniforms and the marks on her wrists and ankles were gone.
"Need any help?" Anna implored, rolling up her sleeves.
He shook his head. "Don't worry about it," he assured her as he fanned the pastries lightly. "Just relax."
She smiled. "No really, I'll help out," she told him, pulling over the rolling tray and placing the porcelain cake rack on it, as well as a tray. She placed several fine china teacups on the tray, as well as a teapot.
While Sebastian neatly organized the pastries on the cake rack, Anna made the tea, skilfully putting in exact amounts of tea leaves into the pot before pouring in hot water, imbuing kindness into it unintentionally.
"Is there anything you need right now, Fang?" Anna implored as she placed the lid on the teapot, allowing the tea to settle. "Are you hungry; thirsty?"
The cat padded over to her, flicking his tail. "That's kind of you, Anna," he replied, "But no, I am just fine. Well… shall we go? I'm sure that Ciel will get annoyed if we're late to serve tea."
"True," Sebastian agreed, glancing at his silver pocket watch. "We should probably head over to the longue where the Young Master is."
Anna smiled. "Then let's go," she said cheerfully, pushing the cart out the door, Sebastian and Fang following her easily.
Knocking twice on the door, Sebastian opened the door and Anna pushed the cart in, Fang padding behind her.
"Good day, Ciel," Anna greeted politely, "good day, honoured guest."
The Chinese man looked at Anna and smiled widely, dipping his head, looking back at Ciel. "I see you've a new servant, Earl Phantomhive," he pointed out, "she's quite the beauty." Looking back at Anna as she and Sebastian prepared the plates and teacups, he addressed Anna, "Miss Maid? Would you please come over here?"
Anna obeyed, walking over to stand in front of Lau. She lowered her head, closing her eyes as he looked her over.
"What is your name, Miss Maid?" he implored.
"Anna," she answered calmly. "May I ask your name, Sir?"
"Lau," he responded, grabbing her by the waist and sitting her on his lap, much to her surprise and Fang's discomfort as his fur rose, anger flashing in golden feline eyes.
A vein pulsed on Ciel's forehead. "Lau, can you please let my maid go?" he demanded. "I do not think that she appreciates your sudden advances on her."
Lau wrapped his arm tighter around her, and he rubbed his cheek against her back adoringly, causing shivers to radiate up and down Anna's spine in terror. "But she's so adorable!" he exclaimed, "Can I buy her from you, Earl? She'd make a wonderful maid, and certainly would be a wonderful model to dress up."
I can't be helped but be reminded of the time Madame Red made advances on Sebastian, Ciel thought, another vein pulsing irritably. "I am not planning on selling off my employees anytime soon," he answered calmly.
Then Lau released her, and Sebastian took Anna's hand and lifted her from Lau's grasp, setting her down next to him, quietly murmuring to her and she nodded in reply. Returning to the tray, Sebastian poured the tea before Anna set the teacups in front of Ciel and Lau, very much wary of the Chinese noble now.
"Do you know anything regarding Lord Druton's son's kidnapping?" Ciel asked Lau directly.
"Not really," he responded. "Only that there are special documents that Lord Druton has in his possession regarding the kidnapping, but he won't reveal what its contents are to anyone."
The young earl looked intrigued by this piece of information. "Interesting…" he murmured. "Sebastian? Anna? Any opinions?"
"Those documents may contain details about what Lord Druton does under the watch of the public," Anna murmured thoughtfully. "That may be a factor on why he will not allow anyone to see them."
"Yes," Sebastian agreed. "And if we manage to obtain those documents, we may obtain proof of his underground deals at the same time."
"Indeed we may," Ciel agreed. "Lau, are you attending Lord Druton's dance party next week?"
He shook his head. "I'm afraid I have other arrangements already made for that time," he replied. "But I will alert you if there is anything I am able to find." Lau looked thoughtfully at Anna. "Where did you find this elegant maid again, you say?" he implored.
"More like she came to me," Ciel answered honestly, "Jealous, Lau?"
"Quite," the man replied curtly before sighing. "Wish I'd have an attractive woman walk up to my door and ask to work for me."
Mentally, Anna chuckled, and Sebastian shot her a sideway glance as he heard her chuckles echoing faintly in his head.
I take it you find this rather amusing, Anna, he said to her.
Yes, she responded. Rather, I don't often hear something like that said. So it is quite strange to me to hear something like this.
"Well then… I suppose we'll stop by Undertaker's shop to see whether he knows anything," Ciel declared, mainly to Sebastian and Anna.
"We'll make the arrangements, Young Master," Sebastian said as he and Anna bowed politely.
"Miss Anna," Lau addressed. "May I request that you linger here a little longer?"
Anna shot a glance at Ciel, and the young earl nodded, and Anna curtseyed while Sebastian left the study.
"I will stay here so long as my service is still needed," she told them.
Lau looked at Ciel. "Do you mind if I test your new maid, Earl Phantomhive?" he requested as he stood up.
"Not at all," he responded, obviously amused as he watched the Chinese man pull two of the fencing swords from the rack by the fireplace.
Tossing over one sword to Anna, Lau implored, "Do you know how to fence, Miss Anna?"
"I do," she replied simply, taking formal defensive stance. "I am honoured that you are challenging me to a friendly duel."
Ciel decided to be both the judge and the spectator for this battle-to-be. "Begin!"
Immediately, Lau skilfully jabbed his fencing sword at Anna's torso, but the angel just-as-skilfully twisted out of the way, diving under to thrust her foil at his heart. Before the foil made contact, Lau back-flipped away from her, out of her foil's reach. Immediately Anna advanced on him, smoothly sliding under his arm to poke the end of the foil against Lau's chest before he leaped away.
"I commend you for your skills, Miss Maid," he noted. "You are obviously not just a beginner. For the time being, I will yield. You have passed my little test." He released his stance and looked at Ciel. "Really, Earl, how do you find such amazing servants? First you have Mr. Butler, and now Miss Maid."
There was a gentle knock on the door, and Sebastian poked his head through with a smile.
"Anna, may I request your assistance?" he implored.
"Of course," she replied softly, sliding the fencing sword back into the rack. Curtseying to Ciel and Lau, she left with Sebastian, but Fang stayed by Ciel's side.
Anna closed the door after her, and followed Sebastian down the hall for a moment before realizing that Sebastian may have been joking about needing her help.
"What is it, Sebastian?" Anna implored gently. "What do you need assistance for?"
Immediately, Sebastian grabbed Anna's arms and pinned her against the wall, his face dangerously close to hers.
"Yeah… I don't think so," Anna said softly, staring deeply into Sebastian's eyes. "No matter what you say or do Sebastian, I won't play bait. Do you honestly think I want Laurence Kingsley to come after myself and Ciel? I swore to Ciel's father that I would protect him and watch over him. I can no longer save him from his hate, but I believe that I can still save his soul from being devoured."
Sebastian's hands tightened on her arms, and his eyes glimmered with a demonic aura. "Would you be willing to trade your soul for the Young Master's then?" he suggested. "Give me your soul in exchange for his?"
Unflinchingly and without hesitation, she rose her shining golden gaze to his and answered, "Yes."
This surprised Sebastian, and it showed on his face, the demonic glower vanishing back to its ruby red. Anna smirked, noticing that she had shaken the demon's resolve, and she closed her molten gold eyes, opening them once more to reveal azure blue.
"Would you like to have a taste of my soul?" Anna taunted, pulling out of his grip easily. "Well… too bad."
She began walking off to the kitchen, but suddenly Sebastian grabbed her arm, spinning the angel into his arms before kissing her deeply, tasting the pureness of Anna's soul as he held her in his arms before she wrenched away, slapping Sebastian across the cheek in anger before storming from the hall. A powerful golden aura glowed around her, brightening the moderately dark hallway before she allowed it to wink out, taking a deep and calming breath.
Stupid demon, she thought. Who does he think he is? Then again… I was the one who taunted him in the first place. Argh… whatever… Either way… stupid Sebastian…
"Sebastian, where's Anna?" Ciel implored as the butler walked in the room with another pot of tea. Lau had left to go do a little investigating for Ciel.
"Well…" he responded, "I apologize, Young Master, but I have seemed to have infuriated the newest Phantomhive maid."
Ciel blinked at him. "What did you do, Sebastian?" he demanded. "Only you know how to insult an angel."
"Well…" he began with a sigh, "I did take a quick taste of her soul by stealing a kiss from her. Obviously that infuriated her, considering she slapped me across the face, so I will take responsibility for her absence."
The young earl sighed heavily in irritation. "Do you have any idea where she is?" he implored.
Fang hissed at Sebastian. "You did what? I don't know where Anna is either!" he snapped. "I can't sense her right now! She won't talk to me!"
"I'm afraid that Anna is also blocking me too," Sebastian noted. "She's ignoring my mental calls to her, and unfortunately I cannot track her for the moment, even with the Blood Bond, as she is, as I said, blocking me."
Ciel sighed, rolling an eye. "Well… she'll alert us if she gets into any trouble, right?"
"Maybe…" Fang growled, feline eyes glaring at the demon butler. "Anna can have quite a fiery temper sometimes, but usually she means well."
"Anyway, Sebastian," the earl continued, "do you have any idea why that angel Ash is still alive? I thought you disposed of him the last time we encountered him."
"That's what I believed too," the demon agreed. "But strangely enough, he's still alive."
"You think that angels die that easily after being beaten by a demon, Sebastian?" Fang barked harshly. "Our kind is not as inferior as you think they are."
He sighed with a shrug. "I suppose so," he said. "Either way, Anna is still in danger of being attacked by either the not-deceased Ash or Laurence, therefore…"
"Make sure you apologize to her when you see her next, Sebastian," Ciel ordered. "I'd rather not have my own demon butler be occupied with affairs of our angelic guest. I will need your services for the times to come."
Sebastian blinked, then bowed swiftly. "Understood," he responded automatically.
"Anna!" Fang gasped, ears perking as his head turned to the door. "She's in her room, apparently! Excuse me, Ciel, but I must speak to her." Without waiting for a reply, the white cat dashed out.
Sebastian looked at Ciel, and Ciel just glared at him before the butler nodded.
"One more thing before you go though, Sebastian," Ciel began, and Sebastian stopped, looking at his master.
Arriving at Anna's room, he found Fang pacing outside the door in agitation.
"Why are you not inside with Anna?" he implored.
The cat glared up at him. "She won't let me in," he hissed. "Something's bothering her, and it's not you either."
A smile crept its way onto Sebastian's face, and he rapped lightly on the door twice. "Anna, may I come in and have a word with you?" he requested politely.
Fang snorted. "She won't even let me in, so what makes you think that she'd ever let-"
"Come in, Sebastian," Anna's voice called through the door, and Fang's tail dropped to the ground in disbelief.
As Sebastian smiled as if to say, 'I told you so', Fang glared up at the butler. "You'd better not do anything to infuriate her further, demon," he threatened.
Sebastian dipped his head before opening the door, closing it behind him as he watched as Anna was sitting on the side of her bed, baby Adrian tucked into his newly-brought cradle by Michael. Her eyes were glancing outside, and the gaze looked distant.
Immediately, Sebastian walked over in front of her and bent down on one knee, lowering his gaze as he held a hand against his chest, the other folded behind his back. "I apologize for my actions towards you earlier, Anna," he apologized sincerely.
Her gaze never left the window. "I appreciate your apology, Sebastian, but… there is nothing to forgive…" she murmured softly, sounding almost distant, like only half of her was present in the room.
"Anna?" he implored, standing up. "Are you alright?"
"Not especially, no," she responded, subconsciously touching the base of her left collarbone. When her azure gaze met Sebastian's, the demon was shocked at the emptiness those twin orbs held. "I've been targeted by a Greater Demon," she breathed, and his eyes widened. "I've been marked to die, Sebastian."