The Child

Chapter 8

He held on to the amulet his sister had made him. It had taken him a week to arrive in the bustling city of New York and for three days now he wandered the streets of the city asking, looking for her. Ethan didn't have a single clue and grew more and more aware of the dangers he was going through, by remaining in American soil, soil that did not want him. By now a message from the Albuquerque police would have arrived in the police departments of it's north-eastern counterparts... And it was a fact that the New York police had quickly become the most quick and efficient in the world.

He wandered through the central park, the sky was lavender, orange and pink shades-the sun was setting. The air was cool, pleasantly so and the shades of the trees tranquilized him. He thought of her-the woman he loved, Vanessa Ives, for the millionth time-he thought of how she had confided in him her hatred of trees-the very reminders of the death of her mentor and friend. It would be more than ironic to find her in a place such as this one, sitting with her black lace dresses on a bench and watching the children play in the distance-as in London she often did.

No doubt Vanessa would smile or laugh to herself over the different expressions and vocabularies of the New-yorkers. Ethan could easily imagine her wandering through the numerous bookshops and reading the local papers, marvelling at the different sights and attractions. He would've liked to have seen her expression, arriving on her ship and seeing the beautiful and welcoming image of justice-the flame of freedom held up high on the statue of Liberty-facing the world. The only time Ethan had seen her she'd been bidding him goodbye-this place isn't for you, my lad.

Ethan stopped in front of a large clearing, a fountain surrounded by perfectly manicured flowers right in the center. Benches circled it all around and he was compelled to through in a copper penny himself. He wished he could find her. He wished he could go home.

He watched as the penny fell into the clear water and drowned, landing on top of many others. For how long he stood there, was beyond him. Fact was, when Ethan had his thoughts interrupted by a familiar voice and then the quick-passing vision of impeccable blond hair, it was if bells chimed inside of him as loud and furiously as they could. He had heard the voice of a friend and maybe, just maybe, the smiling and plump figure of Mr. Ferdinand Lyle could direct him to her.

Ethan walked over to the man who had his back to him and nudged his shoulder.

Ethan watched the Egyptologist's expression of sheer surprise open into a large smile, his cheeks turning a bright shade of pink and his cheekbones shining.

"Oh my dear Mr. Chandler! Finally, finally we have found you in this utmost crowded city!" Mr. Lyle nearly leaned in to give Ethan a hug but thought it better to simply shake the American's hand eagerly. "Oh, Ms. Ives will be delighted to see you again-" Lyle leaned in and whispered, "she is with Ms. Corinthia Burton at the moment."

"Corinthia Burton America's finest Madame?" Lyle nodded earnestly.

"Indeed. She's a lovely person, Ms. Burton, despite her dubious line of work. Dr. Frankenstein was the one who kindly accompanied little Ms. Ives and I to this lovely park. They should be here in no time-had gone off to find a bit to eat."

"Little Ms. Ives?" Ethan was no longer smiling, but his brows were furrowed in pure and utter confusion. He watched as Lyle's smile faltered and he suddenly paled.

"Oh heavens, you did not know, did you. Oh, my..." He ran his chubby hand through his impeccable hair and frowned.

"Who's little Ms. Ives? How is Vanessa across town with Corinthia Burton if she's on her way with Frankenstein? Since when is she little? That's not appealing at all..." Ethan questioned, becoming more than just exasperated. Suddenly it hit him that months and months had passed since he'd last seen Vanessa Ives... nearly a year to be honest. A lot can happen in that period of time. Babies of another man were the first thing that flooded his mind.

"She's, she's a little girl. A lovely child who-" Ives was interrupted by the blunt impact of a little girl running towards him and wrapping her little arms around his figure.

"Mr. Lyle-we found chocolate!" She smiled brightly, dark curls crowning her face and escaping her satin ribbon. She had large, owl-like blue eyes and thick dark eyebrows that made her all the more remind Ethan of Ms. Ives-the taller one.

And suddenly it dawned him. Ms. Ives was this girl's mother.

He observed the child as if she were the most incredible and precious artifact. He watched in awe and amazement as the way she spoke and the expressions she mad all resembled-and greatly-the very woman Ethan loved... Although being a child, this little Ms. Ives was much more open and talkative. And she talked.

"Ms. Ives," he heard Mr. Lyle interrupt her, "Heloise, this is Mr. Ethan Chandler-he's the reason why we came on this great adventure."

Her eyes widened and settled on him. The way she scrutinized him with her gaze was unabashed and of pure wonder. She had to look up to see his face, his eyes-a colossal figure compared to her child's form.

"Oh." Her blue eyes shone in recognition and she smiled, impulsively grabbing onto Ethan's much larger hand. "My mum's been looking for you everywhere..." She giggled and arched just a single brow as her mother sometimes did. "Is it true you were a cowboy?"

"Well-not exactly-but I know quite a few of those..." Ethan couldn't very well explain it, how simply natural it felt, her little hand in his. How unlike anyone he'd ever met before, this child, this little girl-he already loved her so.

"Would you like some chocolate. The doc doesn't... He likes almost nothing..." Ethan and Mr. Lyle chuckled.

"Wait a minute-young Ms. Ives, where is Dr. Frankenstein?"

"I think he's lost me again." Mr. Lyle shook his head in dismay, but still couldn't admonish her.

"That poor man will have a heart attack soon if you continue to disappear like that! Before we leave we must find poor Dr. Frankenstein. Oh Heloise, you naughty, naughty girl..."

...

Ethan couldn't help but smile at the thought of a small child outsmarting the doctor-three times. Still, the expression on Victor's face as they spotted him straight ahead was priceless. You could see how desperate he was and how he was probably envisioning the ways Vanessa Ives could torture him for her child's disappearance.

"Heloise!" Victor ran franctically towards them. He looked different to Ethan-a good kind of different. The marks of his addiction were nearly invisible and he seemed healthier. Ethan was glad. They hadn't much of a friendship, he and the doctor, but the respect was there and Ethan was glad of seeing him after so long and so well. "I thought I had lost you! Do not dare to do that to me again or I swear that I shall tell Ms. Ives. Why do children have to be so childish and irrational!"

Heloise just furrowed her brow and looked at Victor smuggly.

"You're just upset that you are such a bad nanny."

"Well I'm not your nanny, thank heavens-I pity the woman who will take up the job."

"I don't need one." Victor rolled his eyes. And then he noticed Ethan.

"Mr. Chandler!" Frankenstein couldn't quite find the words to express his astonishment.

"Was the little girl causin' you problems, doc?" The two shook hands and for the first time since Ethan first met Dr. Frankenstein, he saw him smile.

"It's very good to see you again."

...

Vanessa sat in her room trying to read the cards spread out before her. Corinthia said that the time was coming-but the anxiety killed her inside. Again she had wandered the city today looking for Ethan. The train station, the hospitals, the post-office, the comercial areas... To be honest she was exhausted-physically and emotionally so.

Tomorrow is another day had very much become her motto. All the time she would repeat it in her mind as one would a mantra. They were so close, he and she, yet it seemed like more than an ocean apart.

She heard the doorknob turning and her eyes darted to the door. As it slowly opened, Vanessa's heart pounded quickly and strongly in her chest.

As handsome as ever but with his hair a lot shorter, she watched him come inside. Heloise pushed the door wider and came between them.

"Look who I found!" She smiled and Vanessa's eyes began to fill with tears. Her lips and hands trembled with the sheer strength of her emotion.

She allowed for Heloise to pull her up and as she stood in front of her, for the first time in a longtime-it felt unreal but also empowering.

"Vanessa-I-I'm so sorry..." He whispered, his eyes pleading with her. She shook her head, tears now falling freely and rolling down her cheeks-her face puffy and red. She threw herself into his arms and stayed there, allowing him to hold her as well-tightly.

Ethan was home again and never wanted to let go.

"Don't you ever leave me again..." She mumbled in between sobs. He took in the softness of her skin, the delicious scent of her perfume and hair... the beat of her heart against his. How could he ever been able to leave?

"Never again, Vanessa..." he promised, whispering in her ear.

I would like to thank all of you who have read this story so far, those who have favorited, followed and gifted me with such wonderful and motivating reviews. This story is a chapter away from it's ending and along with you all, I'm also saying goodbye to it. My lovely OC, Heloise Ives and this romance I built with so much thought and care... I honestly hope this has been just a good ride for you, my readers, as it has been an amazing one for me.

Lots and lots of love,

Theda

Continue Reading Next Chapter

About Us

Inkitt is the world’s first reader-powered publisher, providing a platform to discover hidden talents and turn them into globally successful authors. Write captivating stories, read enchanting novels, and we’ll publish the books our readers love most on our sister app, GALATEA and other formats.