“Master, it’s time for your lessons.” The family maid hesitantly informed Alois who sat with his legs over the arm of his chair, a book in hand. He tossed the book to the floor and rolled his eyes.
“Are you blind?” Alois mocked her. The maid brought her fingertips to the bandage over her eye that she had after he had assaulted her. Alois quickly stood up and slapped her hand away from her face.
After a short moment of silence, Alois broke out into laughter. The maid flinched as he walked past her and started for the garden.
Claude stepped out in front of Alois before he left the building. Without saying a word, he knew that Alois understood what his expression meant. With a grunt and a sigh, Alois spun around on his heel and headed to the piano. Alois sat in front of the piano silently. Claude followed in behind him and stood at his side. There was a long silence between the two of them before Alois cracked his knuckles. His fingers then began to dance along the keys, releasing a strong sound of musical harmony through the air. The maid hid behind the tall framed door of the music room. When Marcella arrived, the maid swiftly fled the scene.
“Claude, my office.” Was all she said. Her heels clicked against the floor and echoed ice cold vibes through the hall when she walked away. It was as if she literally froze the room. A feel of desperation shot from Alois to Claude. He couldn’t stand when Claude left and found something more important than himself.
Claude left without speaking and Alois secretly went after him seconds later. Alois hid behind the office door and listened in.
“Your services are no longer needed.” Marcella stated without any warning. Cold, hard and blunt. That was her style.
“But--” He took a step forward in protest.
“You’ve completed your assigned mission to find and bring back my son, Alois.” Marcella slid a wad of money across her desk in front of him. “Here is your pay. You may be excused.” She turned to busy herself with a pile of papers that were in one way or another part of her work.
“What if I were to not take the money?” Claude asked quietly.
“Well then I’d call you an idiot and tell you to get out of my office.” Marcella glanced over her glasses. She shook her head and returned her eyes to the papers in her hands.
“I want him to work for me.” Alois burst in the room.
“How long were you listening?” Marcella stood up and slammed her hands down on the desk.
“Long enough.” Alois waved a hand in the air and walked across the room and up to his mother, Marcella. “Claude stays, and that’s final.”
“You’ve just moved in and you think you can order me around?” Marcella raised a brow and slipped off her glasses. “I think we need to set one thing straight.” She pulled a knife off its’ display case on the wall. “This is my house.” Marcella held the knife in the flames that burned in the office fireplace. “My rules.” Marcella pulled it out and walked up to Alois. “I’m in charge.” Marcella told Alois and grabbed his arm. She shoved up his sleeve to reveal the bare skin of his forearm. Without mercy, she pressed the scorching blade against his skin.
Alois instinctively squirmed where he stood and fought Marcella. She kept a firm grip on him. He tried to push himself away from her but couldn‘t get loose. The more he fought, the harder she pressed down the blade. Soon enough blood spilled over the metal. Alois’ blood.
The crimson gold caught Claude’s hungry eyes. It stained Alois’ pale porcelain skin. Marcella finally let the boy go and he fell back onto the floor. With a flick of her wrist, Marcella splattered the blood in Claude’s face. He didn’t even flinch. In fact, Claude wiped the blood off his face and licked the drops off his fingers and lips.
“Now” Marcella leaned against her desk. “what were you saying again, Alois?” She looked at her nails to make sure she didn’t stain them with blood as well. And she has just gotten a manicure.
“Claude stays.” Alois repeated through clenched teeth. His legs were numb but he forced himself to stand up and look her in the eye.
Marcella simply stared at him. No one said a word. Claude started to wonder if time had frozen all together.
“You sure are stubborn.” Marcella cleaned her knife and returned it to where it was displayed on the wall. “You must get that from me.” She smirked. “Claude can stay.” Marcella sat down and busied herself at her desk again.
Alois looked to Claude. He won. Claude was his forever. Now he could never leave him. The usual glare on Alois’s face returned after his expression of victory flashed by. Without speaking, Alois turned and left with the expectation that Claude would come along. And he did.