May I have this dance?
The blonde girl looked up. She’d been fussing with her dress. Sort of. More like crunching bits of fabric in her hands in disgust. To the untrained eye it appeared though that she was fussing with it out of nervousness.
You have manners, she bit out in response staring blankly at the brunette man before her.
He was handsome, but Ashley liked to believe she was above that. The man however appeared aghast at what she’d just said and Ashley could already hear the rush of slippers across the halls floor. She rolled her eyes in annoyance. This was not her world. Her mother would be ecstatic if she’d at least play the part of the coquette in public. Ashley didn’t see that ever happening. What was the point of playing the damsel when she was more than capable of taking care of herself? It’d be a lie all to get a husband and while that thought was nice somewhere far down the road, right now she wanted adventure and help her mother with her work – not settle down and bare six children in three years and possibly die in the process.
Ashley! That was entirely uncalled for.
Sorry mom, but maybe you should spend less time trying to set me up and more time watching ‘Dad’ try to keep his distance.
Helen was speechless for a moment. On a level she could sympathize with her daughter. She was trapped in societies view of a woman’s place as much as she was. Unfortunately Ashley didn’t have the luck exactly to have a father that was respected enough to help her into the life she wanted for herself. John was anything but respected these days, and Ashley’s parentage… Helen’s heart went out to her daughter knowing all too well the feeling of helpless entrapment Ashley felt and knew that she was too headstrong to merely give in and accept her lot in life.
Ashley… Helen started and then paused, Zackary Trimble is genuinely interested in courting you. Headstrong personality included.
Ashley crossed her arms over her chest in a very undignified humph. She was getting sick of wearing this dress. It as confining and itchy and if she moved wrong Ashley couldn’t really breathe. Attendance to the ball was expected of her – she was the only child of John Druitt, illegitimate or not.
I’m flattered, Ashley muttered turning on her heel and leaving the crowded ball room.
The cool night air felt heavenly on her bare arms. The sheer amount of perfumes choking the air inside was disgusting. It was a welcome relief to be away from it and not have to fight back a sneeze every time she took a breath.
Your mother means well with Zackary Trimble. John’s deep baritone came from behind her. It was only seconds that he was standing beside her at the balcony.
I know. She turned her head, looking at the profile of her father; he looked so strange with hair. The baldness suited him, wearing that ridiculous brown hair piece just looked awful. Ashley tilted her head at that thought, how would she know what he looked like without hair? It wasn’t as if she’d seen it before.
Both Ashley and John looked around the balcony searching for the source of the shout. She found it a wavering shape just beyond John. It was a blur of color but it appeared humanoid. It was a lot like a photograph obscured by water drops.
The blur took a more solid shape. Colors clarified and the shape was definitely human. It was a man – two men, she shook her head unable to believe her eyes. They were familiar. They weren’t familiar, she didn’t understand she was at war with her own mind.
Ashley! Take ou-
The shapes winked out of existence. They were gone she was once more alone on the balcony with her father. All was quiet except for the crickets and the soft breeze of the wind through the trees.
Will and Henry looked and Helen and shook their heads. They’d been unsuccessful. They couldn’t ask Helen to try again, the machine rejected her violently the first time due to her vampire blood. She’d been sent flying across the room for her efforts and was reward with a concussion.
The three of them looked at Ashley. She was encased in a crystal like cylinder, partially vamped out and partially normal. If one were to pay enough attention one would notice that the very contents of the crystal cage rippled as it shifted. She was unconscious various tubes leading into the encasement but seeming to disappear once they met the cool surface.
An alarm sounded in the distance.
Time to go.
We can’t just leave her. We only just found her.
Magnus there’s nothing we can do. Not without blowing this place up and even then we don’t know nearly enough about their technology to release Ashley without killing her.
Helen placed a hand on the crystal coffin. She watched her daughters face looking for any sign of pain. This was not what she wanted. They’d finally found Ashley, her hope tiny shred of it that it was realized during their escape.
We’re running out of time. We hide or we’re going back to the electro-fryer. Let’s move it.
She didn’t have any choice, Kate was right. Helen said goodbye to her daughter and promised to return for her. She would find a way to get her daughter back. Set her free.