I was sitting in the study reading while Mercy was writing in his ledger books at his desk. Probably plotting his world domination or something. It had been a pretty average day. Hunter and Cayden had gone on a run. A failed mugging. It had been pretty quiet with Epiphany at a fashion show until Merceillious’s cell phone rang. Pretty average. Well, at first.
“Merceillious De Luca.” Same old blunt preamble.
Did I always listen in on phone conversations? When I was in the room…yes. In the next moment I was glad I did.
“I see. I will see you there.” He said tersely, but lacking his usual arrogance and spiteful attitude.
Now that was unusual. Not that he was meeting someone but that he wasn’t a total jerk to who he was talking to. Mercy was even arrogant and self absorbed with De Luca family members. That meant there was only one person on the other end that he could be speaking to and him calling never boded well for someone. Whether it was going to bad for one of us was the million dollar question. I heard my twin sigh and begin to gather his things.
“I’m going with you.” I said immediately, unfolding my cane.
I stood up purposefully, ready to go. Mercy scoffed.
“Please. You’re not leaving the house. You’re covered in cat hair.” He said with a dismissive tone that I was far too used to hearing to really care.
“I am?” I always forgot that I had to worry about Helix’s fur. It’s not like it bothered me, “I’m still going. I’ll just change.”
He snorted and instead took my arm, dragging me out of the room. He escorted me down the hall and into the main hall, practically boiling with annoyance.
“Anette! Do…something with this.” He sneered, leaving me to gather his coat.
Anette bustled up, muttering irritably under her breath. I couldn’t keep the smirk off of my face when I heard her mutter a few choice whispered curses towards my brother. A snarky ponce, indeed. She began to run a sticky roller over every inch of my clothes that could possibly, appropriately be seen in public. With more tenderness, she ran a brush smoothly through my hair before kissing my cheek lightly.
“You’re all ready, ducky. Have fun.” She said fondly before handing me my bag and bustling back off to prepare dinner.
Merceillious walked back over to my side, huffing as if he were annoyed with everyone around him, as usual.
“Well, come on then, bat boy. Unlike some people, I prefer to be punctual.”
~ o ~
We were sitting in Clos Maggiore half an hour later, sitting stiffly across from three people who I had not seen in five years. I knew that Mercy would be sneering across the table at the sniggering, half crazed woman.
“Well, Ophelia, as hideous as ever. You still sound like a banshee too, I see.” Merceillious said haughtily, sipping his wine lightly.
We were both thinking the same thing despite our calm appearances. Were they back for me? Had they decided that I was a liability after all? The Fates could do that after all. The three Fates were the secret police of every group of Prophets and Mortiferi in the world. Unfortunately for them, while the number of Prophets and Mortiferi corresponded to the population of the area they resided, there were only ever three Fates in existence. The upside? The bloody wankers didn’t die. Ophelia used to know Shakespeare, after all. Yes. THE Ophelia. If only she was like the character she had inspired. In reality, she was completely bonkers, vain as a peacock, and unpredictable to boot. She must have swallowed too much dishwater as a child.
Antony, the oldest and the leader of the three, sat stoic and apathetic as always. Despite the fact that he was in different countries all the time, he always smelled like cinnamon spice to me. Like something exotic and potent. And finally, there was Jude. Jude was the only relatively normal one in the entire group, though he was the youngest. He was the voice of reason, one could say.
“Ah, Merceillious. Still running after little girls? It is a shame women can see past that forked tongue. You’re stuck with children who don’t know any better.” She cackled, slipping a bite of her cheesecake in her mouth.
I couldn’t hide my snort of amusement at that. I can imagine the look my brother was sending me and Ophelia. Probably his trademark sneer. He was so predictable sometimes, so sensitive about his favorite little Prophet. Antony spoke up at last, interrupting their childish bickering with his low droning voice, sounding very much as if he would rather be anywhere else but here. Then again, Antony sounded that way no matter where he was. I could empathize. I would get bored too if I lived forever and nothing surprised or fascinated me anymore.
“Actually, that ‘little girl’ is exactly why we are here.”
Merceillious stiffened slightly at my side, an intriguing response to the situation.
“We are here to kill Nathaniel. As well as pick up another small project of ours.”
I heard my brother set his teacup down hard, something that was unusual. He always said that only peasants treated fine china in such a way.
“Nathaniel is no harm to you or anyone else. There is no need to eliminate her from the picture. If the problem is her presence within the Prophets then I can take care of it-” He began but Jude cut him off.
“Nathaniel has been a problem for some time and you know exactly what I mean. She was supposed to die all those years ago so the next Prophet could take her place. She is a threat to the balance and that is unacceptable. Besides, we can’t have her influencing our other project and she no doubt will if left unattended.” The Fate explained reasonably but Merceillious was not having any of it.
“You know I cannot allow this to happen.”
“We know, silly Mercy. We know you will do whatever you can to prevent it. It’s predestined after all. So you go and play with the Prophets all you like. Yours will be in no danger from us. We’re not here for you.” Ophelia giggled, finishing up her cake.
Mercy seemed to accept this and without another word, he spun on his heel and marched out, heaven only knows where to. I grinned across the table at the Fates. I didn’t have any trouble with them. In fact, I was rather fond of the threesome. They had given me a second chance when they had come for my life, after all. They had even made sure I could still do my Mortiferi duties better than anyone expected.
“So, where have the three of you been to this time?” I asked interestedly.
They always visited the most wonderful places in the world.
“Well, we’ve been to Peru, Quebec and we even stopped in Brussels this time around. Ophelia completely porked on chocolate in Switzerland and tossed her cookies for the entire boat ride back to the continent.” Jude began, weaving fantastic tales and stories of their journeys to amuse me for the next couple of hours.
After all, when one was immortal, what did time matter?