third person's Pov
“I want you to stay Angell. Please stay with me Don’t go back.” The words were whispered but strong. She did not look tipsy now.
"How on earth did you know my middle name? Mimi." She sighed. “I heard it when my dad called you by that middle name yesterday when you were about leaving his study room, but what I want you to tell me now is that-” She paused.
Then someone came at the door, knocking furiously, “Miss McCarthy?Miss McCarthy?” One of the maids called again, Angell realized. He looked rapidly around. Lord, he couldn’t actually hide behind the drapes, could he?. The door cracked open, spilling an apron of light onto the floor, Angell stepped behind the bed curtain hoping to God the maid didn’t come any further into the room.
"I didn’t bid you enter." Mimi’s voice rang authoritatively through the room. Angell saw the light narrow to a bar of silver on the floor as the hapless maid apparently backed out.
“I’m sorry, Miss Mimi. ” the maid spoke through the cracks in the door.
“there’s-Someone here, he threatened to make a scene, to do something awful if I didn’t come to get you.” Summer glanced at Mimi, who was once again clothed but so flushed and tumbled that no one would ever believe they’d been caught uncompromising.
“Tell whoever it is I’ve gone to bed.” Her hands were clasped composedly in her lap, her eyes were unwavering on his.
“I did, ma’am.” the maid sniffed and her voice rose readily, then he asked to see Mr. Summer, but I can’t find him. ” Summer felt hope shatter within him. He lay his head back against the bed poster and closed his eyes. It couldn’t be. Not here, in this house.
"I’ll be right down," Mimi said. The silver of light disappeared, and the maid's footsteps faded down the hall. Mimi stood up and tried to push her hair back into place.
"I’ll go down," Angell said.
“No. I’m sure it’s Inigo Alicanté. They mustn’t know you were here.” She straightened her dress with cool efficiency.
"Inigo. Summer hadn’t considered that. Of course, it has to be." he finished buttoning his shirt.
“They don’t have to know, and It only could be dangerous. I’ll go.” She looked up at him with a half smile. “Mr. Inigo is many things,” but dangerous is not one of them. I’ll have no trouble getting rid of him.” Mimi moved towards the door. Once there, she turned back to him with a sad expression.
“You won’t be here when I return, will you. ”
Summer hesitated. “Mimi-” he stopped, torn. “Not like this, Mimi. You deserve better than this. ” Her lashes dropped and she smiled slightly. “Or you do. ” she turned swiftly and disappeared through the door.
Summer threw his head back and let out a deep breath. Inigo. Why would he have followed Mimi here? Well, the answer to that was obvious, but what excuse would he have made for leaving the party? and he knew Mimi was not alone. Everyone there had seen her leave with both her sister and himself. An unconscious tightening began in his gut. Mimi was drunk. Granted, she’d looked better leaving this room than she had come into it, but she was still without all of her faculties. Summer ran his hands through his hair and moved to the door. It wasn’t Inigo down there. He could feel it in his bones. Every nerve prickled and every hair seemed to rise.
Why would Inigo have asked for Summer?
His fingers closed around the knob before he gave a thought to how it would look, his barging out of Mimi’s bedroom. He paused, the door partially open. Slowly, with nervous patients, he leaned out. The hall was quiet, empty. He slipped out and pulled the door shut behind him, then he strode swiftly down the hall to the stairs. The Moment he reached the foyer, his fears were confirmed, the first words he heard were Mimi’s.
“What is it you want with him? ” her tone was determined with an undercurrent of fear.
“Well, Missy it might be as I can tell you later. Dependin’ on how things go with yer Mister Angell Summer. ” The crackles of Valerian Bratts laughter stumbled up Summer’s spine. With a burst of adrenaline and a muttered expletive, he barged into the room. Mimi whirled in surprise, her pulse thundering in her ears, the only character to her left straightened slowly.
The looks on Summers' face was one she’d never seen. His eyes were fierce, his mouth and jaw hard with his ruffled hair he looked wild like someone who fights for a living, was this really the man who’d just held her in his arms?
An uncomfortable niggling at her brain made her pause. She’d seen him this way one other time..... One other dark, terrifying night.....in St. Mali --' She turned incredulous eyes to the man in the shabby suit. He wore dirty, scratched spectacles, but she could easily see his milky shaded eyes, she just hasn’t pulled the details together with that awful memory until now.
“You’re the man from St. Mali, ” She said. “I remember your eyes. You’re the one who tried to rob us. ” she turned to Angell for confirmation. Summer didn’t look at her his hard hooded eyes bored into the other man.
“I thought you would be smart to get away from here,” he said in a feral voice that caused Mimi to shiver.
“Well now we got a lot of things or two to talk about, ” the man said. “And I didn’t count on you looking fer me. ” he laughed again showing his rotten teeth. Summer turned his eyes to Mimi, their depths tortured and angry. “you can leave us now, Miss Mimi, ” He said.
“I’ll take care of this. ” Mimi felt the tension in the room like a magnetic current She couldn’t possibly leave. She knew instinctively that she was the only reason the two men kept their distances. If she were to go, there was no reason this man wouldn’t try to take revenge on Angell.
“No, I’ll stay, ” she said firmly her eyes steady on Angell. Her heart pounded furiously and she no longer felt any vestige of the alcohol she’d consumed. How strange that she should suddenly feel so attuned, so painfully awake.
She turned back to Angell who smiled grimly. “it’s all right, ” he said calmly.
She searched his eyes for the truth of those words. " I'd like to stay Angell, ” she said.
His expression softened minutely. “Actually, I don’t think you would like it. Mr. Valerian and I have got a little business to discuss.” he threw a hard glance at the other man. “it won’t take long. ”
She kneaded her hands at her waist uncertain now whether her presence really would make things better. Without her there, maybe Angell could get rid of him more quickly, Maybe he knew how to treat such ruffians, in a way he could not use in the presence of a lady.
She bowed her head once. “Alright. But I’ll be right out there if you need me. ”
“ain’t that nice, the man cooed. she will be right out there iffen you need her, Summer. she’ll come runnin’ to save you from the bad ugly man. ”
Summer turned a chilling glare on him. “you’ll shut the hell up now, Valerian .”
The man looked taken aback. “is that any way to treat a guest, right here in this pale? ” But he was quiet after that, as Angell walked with Mimi to the door, his hand on her elbow.
" Summer, who is he? ” she whispered as he opened the door.
He sighed. ” I would wanna tell you, but he’s an old acquaintance-” He paused with his face down, “that killed my mother”. Mimi stopped on the other side of the door and glared at him. “you don’t need to treat me like a child. I know something is wrong, but-he-he-he killed your mother? ”
“Nothing that hasn’t been wrong for a long time, ” He said wearily. He gave her a ghost of a smile. “it’s just life, catching up to me. ” he raised a hand and traced a finger down her cheek, then bent it and chucked her lightly under the chin.
“Don’t worry about me, Mimi. This kind of scene scares you, I know but I have been living with it all my life. ” he stepped back and rested a hand on the knob.
“let me know when he’s gone. Alright? ” she asked.
“I’ll be in the next sitting room. ” He nodded and slowly close the door. She was about to walk away when she heard the man’s distinctive voice and high-pitched laugh.
“Blackmail! ’ that all you think this is? ” The next moment, the front door opened and her parents clattered into the hall.
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