Grayson stood in the middle to his home, cautiously looking at his surroundings.
‘Something is off.’ He thought to himself.
Everything was exactly how he left it when he went to work earlier in the day. The only difference was his whiskey was in the corner of the house, and nearly gone.
Grayson narrowed his eyes at the corner. There was dirt on the wall and floor.
He turned around and went outside. He knew Eleanor liked to tend to her flower garden as much as possible. It was one of her favorite past times.
But instead of finding beautiful flowers, Grayson found turned up soil with an imprint of a body. He crouched closer to exam the imprint.
‘Most likely a frail body since the imprint is not deep. And the handprints are small. This was most likely Eleanor.’
Grayson stood up and walked back into the house quickly. He did not have much time before the sun set so he had to be quick about getting into town.
Changing from his work clothes into a cream-colored tunic with a black vest paired with dark trousers, he thrusted his feet into his old leather soldier boots and grabbed a belt that held his sword. He was not taking any chances with Eleanor possibly being taken.
Grayson ran out to the barn to saddle up Grace once more. The horse neighed nervously, sensing his urgency.
He climbed into the saddle and had the horse break into a full-on run.
He knew Eleanor had gone to into town a few days prior, so the next possible clue of Eleanor’s whereabout could be within that town.
It did not take long for him and Grace to get to town. The sun was descending on the horizon, giving off orange and pink hues across the sky. Not much more time to get some answers.
Since the crowds were thin, Grayson rode his horse into town. Many people had to jump out of his way to avoid being trampled. The people were yelling insults at him, but he did not care. Eleanor was his main priority.
Finally stopping in front of the whore house, Grayson dismounted and ran inside, throwing open the doors.
Bang! The doors hit the walls with such force that the windows shook. Every man and woman stopped what they were doing and looked at Grayson.
“Where is Phoebe!?” He bellowed, hoping that Eleanor’s childhood friend would know something.
Silence. No one seemed to want to answer the deranged man.
“Where is she!?” He yelled again, getting angrier by the second. His clenched fist at his side started to shake. A few of the woman took notice and started backing away from him.
Grayson was about to take a step forward when he heard running footsteps from the hallway up the stairs.
Phoebe turned the corner and stopped at the top of the stairs. She put her hands on her knees as she tried to catch her breath.
After a few seconds of calming her rapidly beating heart, she straightened herself up, took a deep breath, and yelled excitedly, “Grayson!” her arms flew out as she descended to stairs.
Grayson looked at her in confusion but ended up catching her in his arms as she flung herself at him, her skirts wrapped around him practically swallowing him up.
She kissed his cheek and released him from her grip. “Grayson, it’s so good to see you! Come! We must catch up!” She grabbed his hand before he could protest and rushed him upstairs.
Phoebe ran down the hall with Grayson stumbling after her. She finally stopped in front of a door and swung the door open dramatically.
“Oops!” She giggled.
Grayson looked at her questioningly, then heard the gasps of a man and woman. He looked into the room and saw a couple having sex on the bed. The woman was on her knees with her skirts lifted and the man was on his knees behind her, it looked like he was in mid thrust when Phoebe busted into the room.
“Such a scandalous position! But sorry you two, I am going to have to ask you to leave.” Phoebe said as she continued to giggle and look anywhere but them.
The couple scrambled off the bed and did their best to smooth out their clothes before walking out of the room, both with an embarrassed flush covering their faces.
“Grab some brandy from one of the servants downstairs! Tell them Phoebe sent you!” She yelled at them before shutting the door in their faces.
Once the door was closed, Grayson glared at her. “What was that? Why would you drag me up here and into an occupied room?”
Phoebe turned to face him and put on a scowl herself. “Why would you scream my name out to the whole brothel?” She challenged him.
Grayson opened his mouth but closed it immediately. Realizing arguing would not get him anywhere he took a breath.
“Have you seen Ellie?” he asked, desperation coating his words.
Phoebe’s scowl dropped as her eyebrows furrowed in concern. “Not since a few days ago. Why? What happened?”
Grayson ran his fingers through his hair before sitting on the bed, cringing slightly when he caught a whiff of sex. “I came home, and she wasn’t there. Normally I would think she had come into town, but there were signs of someone laying in her garden and dirt in the house. My whiskey was almost gone too, and I hadn’t touched it recently.” He put his face in his hands waiting for Phoebe to say something.
After a moment of silence, Phoebe spoke. “Well, we know she hates town and never visits close to dark. Right now, its nighttime so there is no way she is here right now.” She thought for a moment longer. “Did you visit Alice? That could be the only other place she would be.”
Grayson looked up. “No, but that will be my next destination.” He stood up and reached for the door.
Phoebe stepped in his way. “I’ll come too! Wait here!” She threw open the door and ran further down the hallway to another room. She quickly disappeared inside.
Grayson shifted uncomfortably on his feet as another couple walked down the hall, drunk and hanging off each other. The woman regarded him with half lidded eyes and winked at him.
The corner of Grayson’s lips lifted in disgust.
The sound of a door closing brought Grayson’s attention back to where Phoebe was. She had changed into warmer clothing with a shawl.
As she approached him, Grayson stared at the room she came out of. “Why didn’t we just go to your room?”
Phoebe giggled. “Silly, you can’t see a lady’s room! It’s inappropriate.” She slapped his arm.
Grayson rolled his eyes but kept silent as they exited the brothel.