Rain pattered outside, leaving a gloomy grey sort of light in the cells of Scotland Yard. But still, sweat dripped down the brow of Thomas Dunning as he sat against the side wall of his cell, staring into the eyes of Charlotte Bennet. Charlotte had woken up this morning with Thomas staring at her.
"We need a heart to heart," He had said but after that, not a single word had been said all morning. The only sound was the rain outside, and the leak inside that dripped from down the hallway like an I.V drip through the ceiling. No, neither of them said anything. But they did stare. They stared at each other without saying a word and this had gone on for most of morning.
"What time is it?" Asked Charlotte with an irritation in her voice that simmered, waiting to boil into a rage of impatience.
"Why, do you need to be somewhere?" He asked back, not missing a beat. That was the first exchange of dialogue since about nine am.
"Why did Ara kick you out?" She started. Dunning dreaded the day that someone would ask that question and thought long and hard. "See, now I'm trying to make progress with this and you're not answering the damn question." He ignored the impatient girl, blinking in the hesitation of the moment. "Are you just being a prick or do you not know?" He made his decision.
" I do know." He answered.
"Well…" She finally crossed her arms and lifted her countenance with expectation. It wasn't his reason to tell. How could he tell Charlotte what happened without revealing Ara's secret when he had no idea if Charlotte already knew or not?
"I'm not at liberty to say, really." He finally let out. He held his breath, waiting for her temper to come out of its cage but nothing of the sort happened. Charlotte squinted with a kind of controlled curiosity and leaned forward, looking at him as though she were trying to figure him out. "We had an argument and I lost control."
"You get into physical fights all the time. She must've gotten you back." The girl leaned back again against the wall.
"No, not that kind of control. It was sort of a mental torment that I inflicted upon her. I can't talk about it though." He looked down to the ground and gulped in before clearing his throat and then looked back up to Charlotte, her facial expression being mercifully nonchalant.
"If you can't talk, you can't talk." she shrugged and smiled. Thomas laughed in response and nodded with a dorky grin on his face before his smile fell as he came to a sudden realization.
"Hey," He caught her attention as she started to close her eyes for a nap. She leaned back up and waited for what he had to say. It was a raw bubble that rose in her stomach when she heard the words whisper from his mouth. "We need to break out of here."
"So let's get this summarized," Ara walked in a slow circle around the table with Marlow, Ben, and Dominique sitting at it. "Marlow you , Ben, and Dominique acquire police uniforms. you take me in and let the yard know that you have caught me while Ben and Dominique, you go and grab the captain's things. We grab keys and go out through the witness door of the gallow yard?" Ara paused and thought. "I feel like there's a lot of thing that can go wrong with this."
"There's a lot of things that can go wrong with this plan. Hell, the idea of robbing a prisoner out of Scotland Yard is risky in itself but you've never had a problem with it before. Why are you over thinking it now? Also, can we not forget about Joseph and Aaron who are also in there?" Ben asked. Ara rolled her eyes.
"Actually, Aaron's mother paid both of their bails. They're back at the ship." Marlow informed them. There was a small silence of surprise.
"oh, very good then." Ben broke the silence.
"Now back to Ben's question about my over thinking things," Arabella cut in, " I was risking my own life before, not Cap'n Charlotte's." She said. "How are we going to acquire uniforms? Where do they even get the uniforms. They keep them at their ho-" Ara smiled and the others looked to her with confusion, all except for Dominique who knew exactly what she was thinking.
Night fell over London with a sunset that wasn't anything anyone hadn't seen before. Nightlife struck in white chapel and Dorian Gray's house could ironically be heard all the way from Kensington where children were tucked safely into bed and shiny men in top hats with cigars discussed business with money in pockets that had never been empty before. While all these people roamed free, Thomas sat in the corner of his cell, lazy and tired and begging for a drink.
"LAWRENCE!" He called over to the night guard, " Lawrence! just a bottle of something to knock me out." Lawrence Harrison sat cruelly in his chair, snickering at his former higher authority.
"Stop crying like a kid for his bottle and maybe you'll get a treat." Lawrence (Larry, as Ara would address him) chuckled with one leg hanging over the other. Thomas stood from his position and went to the front of the cell with his arms hanging through the bars.
"LAWRENCE!!"He howled only to be answered with hushes and "shut the hell up" from the prisoners who were trying to sleep. Charlotte sat like a night owl against the side of the cell with her legs criss crossed. The guarding officer sighed, with an annoyed expression sneaking through. "Come on, Lawrence, what was that tavern song we used to sing together on late nights," Thomas pleaded and then began singing to the rest of Scotland Yard's and possibly the whole damn neighborhood's horror.
"Tomorrow is another day, the cats are out to play, to play," He began with an audience of disapproved and irritated grunts coming from the other cells. "That old rusty spaceship wants to sail, into the milky way again,"
"Shut the hell up down there!"
"Get to sleep you God awful imbecile!" Thomas ignored all of these cheers and kept singing louder. "Someone beat him to death!"
"ON RIVER OF RED RE-E-ED WIIIINNNNEEEE" Thomas smiled out to Lawrence who smirked back. "Run, run run run run, runrun run run, run, run run run, Let's have some fun fun fun fun fun funfun fun fun," Lawrence shook his head laughing while the other inmates yelled nasty things at the night's performance, Charlotte grinning in the dark. "and we can DRINK DRINK DRINK DRINK DRINK DRINKDRINK DRINK DRINK," Finally, Lawrence stood and left the room to which Thomas grinned back at Charlotte. "I knew he loved me." the bored prisoner cooed and turned back to wait for Lawrence who eventually returned with a bottle of vodka. "Oh, you sly dog, you! Best night guard ever!" The bottle was passed through the bars and Lawrence sat back down.
"Now be a merciful little shit and let everyone else sleep." He laughed while Thomas hoped down in front of Charlotte, taking a long swig and making a face of absolute disgust. Charlotte grabbed it and took her own swig, coughing before looking at the label. "Don't look at me, I got it from the chief's cabinet." Lawrence explained. The prisoners, with mischievous looks in their eyes, took another swig each.
The shiny knob clicked and turned until the clean white door opened with a small creak, a small black bobby pin sticking right out of the lock and a sly smile on the face of a trouble maker as she rose to peep around the corner and slid into the kitchen with a lantern. There, she placed the light on the kitchen counter and opened a closet to pull a maid's uniform out. It was ten o'clock and whoever was around, was sleeping. That's at least what Ara thought when she had completely undressed in the kitchen until the lights came on while she was sliding the dress over her head. The young woman froze, fully aware that she had been caught. How many times had she turtle dover this house; about twelve. How many times had she been naked in this house; about two. How many times had she been caught in the act; never unless you included this time. She didn't dare peek to see who had flicked on the lights.
"I suppose you think you're clever." an old, posh female voice said causing Ara to gasp a little as she realized to whom she would be speaking. Lifting the skirt of the dress over her eyes and covering her body with it, the pirate gave a sheepish look to Mrs. Eudora Dunning who stood in her nightgown, hair pinned into a loose bun, with a confident, intimidating stare that glued itself into Arabella's eyes, causing the girl to look down. "What's your name, child?" the woman asked.
"Arabella Porter." she answered truthfully. The woman's eyes narrowed.
"Will you kindly follow me to the living room once you've made yourself a cup of tea? and for heaven's sake, get some clothing on. You look like a wild woman."
compressed laughter echoed softly down the hallways as Thomas lay on his back next to Charlotte.
"Is that even a lullaby? I would never sing that to my child!" He slurred his words and sharply turned his head to look at Charlotte who hiccuped, making her laugh harder. "The color of throats that mother will cut," He quoted, "Your mum was a maniac."
"Aye, sometimes she was." Charlotte nodded, her face flushed, head buzzing. "What songs did you have as a little kid growing up?" she turned on her side to face him. He thought for a moment.
"Do you know the grand old duke of york?" He questioned. She shook her head.
"Not personally, I bet you do though."
"It's a song, you silly girl." He scoffed and they laughed a bit louder, only to be hushed by an inmate who lived a few cells down. "Oh piss off!" Dunning,said as his cellmate cupped a hand over his mouth.
"shhhhhh. Sing me the song."she whispered and he sat up.
"Well,we would have to march around and sing." He informed her. She sighed and pulled herself up,using the wall as support while thomas began to march around the cell.
"the grand old duke of york, he had ten thousand men, he marched them up to the top of the hill and he marched them down again. cause when they're up they're up, and when they're down, they're down, and when they're only half way up, they're neither up nor down." He sang accidentally tripping over the vodka bottle and landing face first on the floor, laughing himself into a fit. Charlotte plopped herself down with him and they sat there.
"How do you think we'll escape?" she asked, looking over to the sleeping Lawrence Harrison, a silver key hanging off his belt. Dunning shrugged.
"The last time I ran from something, I burned it down and it got me here. Maybe we won't use fire this time." He suggested, Charlotte nodded in approval and hiccuped again.
Back at the Dunning estate, Ara sat with a postured back on a brown leather couch with a cup of pomegranate tea in her hands that struggled not to shake. She sat silent, staring down at the dark magenta liquid while Mrs. Dunning stared across at her as she took a shallow sip.
"My son was never the man my husband wanted him to be." She said, making Ara snap her eyes up.
"I'm sorry, what was that Mrs. Dunning?"
"You tried to rob my house , girl, for heaven's sake, call me Eudora." The woman said with an insulted tone. "I said that Thomas was never the man my husband wanted him to be. To Mr. Dunning's disappointment, that child grew up to be the man I wanted him to be. How could the father be shocked, right? I was around the boy all the time while he was off to some mission for the Queen. Well, my husband was dumb enough to be shocked and my son was dumb enough to think that he was being fair." Arabella avoided eye contact in that awkward moment. "I let him sniff my perfumes and I taught him how to be a gentleman. I hired the governess and sometimes sat in on lessons. I even taught him that he should like strong, confident women. Not the shy little wimp that I pretended to be at parties. I should have known he was going to fall for a law breaker. I'm an awful mother." Arabella choked on her tea while Eudora smirked to herself, reminiscing on the past and ignoring the fact that her "guest" was coughing. "Yeah," she snickered to herself, "I didn't think so,"
"you know me?" Ara said loudly and then put her own hand over her mouth.
"The maid I didn't hire? Not all of us high class women are stupid, you silly little fool. anyways, The only problem is that the strong confident ones are either poor without a penny to their name or not in love with spoiled little rich boys who follow their father's every command, which you are both of those things." Eudora continued, Arabella, all the while gawking at her speech. "You never requited his affections but you did screw him."
"I don't believe what i'm hearing."
"I mean, there was a chemistry between you two at one point but that's all gone now, isn't it? Now you just like to beat each other up."
"This is ridiculous."
"However I both liked you and hated you at the same time from the moment my son asked where his extra pair of handcuffs were." Arabella spewed pomegranate tea all over the coffee table. He had told his mother everything and the rest she figured out. "By the way, you better still have my emerald necklace. I want that one back. It won't suit your coloring anyways. Anyway, What you want now that he's in jail, I can't imagine but you better run it by me first." Arabella was busy coughing, "Or you can die via tea and we won't have to worry about any of it. Sky Pirate Dies of Deliciously Hot Drink, oh I can't imagine the headline." Arabella felt as though the devil was sitting across from her, revealing her every move from about a year ago or two. "you going to tell me what you want in this house or are you going to keep watering my table?" Arabella perked up with her mouth closed, continuing to clear her throat.
"I- I was wondering if I could borrow a police uniform. We actually need three in total." She got it out through a husky voice. Eudora raised an eyebrow.