Harvard square was bustling with students and the faint smell of cafe's swept into the strong essence of genius that made Ara sort of shift in place with a frown that wanted to creep out but remained in a blank stare. This was the first place she had come to after sneaking off the ship she had smuggled herself onto to get…here. Thomas had a friend attending the prestigious university of Harvard and Eudora had "bet the balls she didn't have" that he might be visiting with this friend until a more suitable place to stay was found. So, with her bag over her shoulder and a look of caution that weighed down her brow, Ara stared, not sure how she could find his missing fiancee in this labyrinth of education and wealth. That's when her belief in luck was found.
"Are you lost?" A strong american accent that reminded Ara of church bells asked from behind. She whirled around to find the speaker; a freckly faced young lady with big green eyes and brown fringe ("bangs") that fell forward and neatly stopped right above her brow. she wore a pretty black bonnet and a green dress that reminded Arabella of the porcelain dolls she used to gaze at through shop windows. But there was something else about this girl. Something that seemed so familiar. It could have just been that she had an american accent that made the sky pirate think of childhood but… "Are you alright."
"Yeah, I'm alright." she's american, she's not asking you how you are, she's asking if you need help. "Actually, I'm looking for someone."
"Patsy, it's dangerous to talk to hobos." A girl with dark pink highlights in her neat black bun whispered from behind. "We have to get to class. She's just a girl who lives on the street. What would your dad say?"
"Oh, what he won't know, won't hurt him. Go to class, I'll be there in a sec." ara just sort of stood there awkwardly as the other girl shook her head and left. This "patsy" character then smiled and shrugged. "so, who are you looking for? I'm Patricia." she held out her hand for Arabella to shake. Ara shook it and stepped forward a bit to properly shake.
"Arabella." she said.
"Oh! what a unique name! I knew an Arabella once. Really good friend, playmates in elementary school sort of thing. Are you from england?" Ara stared at her for a moment. "Are you alright?"
"Yeah, yeah, I'm fine. You just seem so familiar."
"People tell me I have one of those faces.So, who's this person you're looking for?" The girl asked and Ara pulled a piece of paper out of her pocket.
"Abelard Amesfeild." She read and looked up to see a shocked Patricia.
"Everyone knows Abelard. He throws all the best parties. you have to come to one tonight."
"No, really, i'm not here to-"
So that night, Ara checked into a hostel and changed into the nicest thing she had. It wasn't really ladylike but a short black dress was all she brought with her for a nice thing. Ara sighed, realizing that if she was running after a lady who was running after a gentleman, she should have brought something to disguise herself as a lady. She came to the address that Patricia had written down for her. A house that glowed with light and voices, no music. This wasn't a ball but nor was it a tavern, maybe the slight ring of piano as someone inside showed off their musical talents. Inside was loud, there was laughter and singing and quite a lot of brandy, scotch, whiskey, wine, champagne, the house was fountain for anyone to come in and drink. To the pirate's relief, these young ladies and gentleman by day, turned into brawlers and tavern wenches by night. so when Patricia rushed up to hug Ara in a short brown skirt, low cut white blouse, and leather suspenders, she could definitely imagine how Thomas fit into this crowd; the wealthy, high class rebels, the young girls and boys who covered themselves with fancy clothing and drowned themselves in propriety, letting it build like steam pressure and letting it burst out when they attended university ,away from the weight of overbearing parents and high teas with family they barely knew…. or maybe no high tea? high coffee….no...
"Abey is upstairs in his study. He has a paper due tomorrow so he's writing it." Patricia told her.
"and he's still holding a par'y?"
"You're english accent is so cute! Go upstairs, he won't be bothered by you. The man needs a break."
So Ara led herself in the direction of the second floor of the old house, looking up with this aching feeling in her chest that she would open the study door and find Thomas and his fiancee there waiting for her to bring the runaway Chrysanthemum home. But when Arabella found the study, all that was sitting there was a studious, aggressively writing boy of about twenty four years , with wavy short dark hair and a focused look on his slender face that made her hesitant to even knock. But as she lifted her hand to knock on the door frame, He looked up and smiled.
"Can I help you?" He asked,
"Abelard Amesfeild," She said it more like a statement than a question,
"British girl, come on in. You must be the chick Patricia Argyle told me about." Even the name, Patricia Argyle, sounded familiar.
"It's Arabella actually. I don't want to take up too much of your time but I'm looking for a friend of yours. Thomas? Thomas Dunning?" Since when was she so shy? Usually if she wanted something, the gun was the way to go. Answers always poured out like money from an aristocrat if someone thought they were going to die in the next minute.
"Well sit down for a moment. It all depends who's asking for him really. I think I might just want you to tell me more about yourself before I give you over to Thomas."
she pulled a knife out of her garter belt and jumped onto his desk, hopping down and sitting on it with her legs hanging over the side, kicking back and forth as she held the shiny blade to his throat. he gulped and jumped a bit. "Are you going to hurt him?" Asked Abelard.
"No! I need to find someone he knows! I'll just be asking him some goddamn questions and to be brutally honest, your well being is the only thing you should be worrying about now, yeah?" She said, pulling on his hair and holding his head up to get a good aim at his neck.
"He's been living in my attic! The scared student squeaked. and Ara tucked her knife away, moving herself off the desk and rushing out.
"Thanks!" She called behind as the kid yelled something after her but she didn't have time. She found the door that led to the stairway that led to the attic and rushed up. "Thomas?" There were grunts next to the lantern light that made Ara roll her eyes until the embarrassed squeal of the riding girl made Thomas curse as she fell off him and covered herself.
"Ara? Christ Ara-"
"Since when are you bottom? The American's too rowdy for ya?"
"What the hell?"
"We need to talk."
Ara gave an unimpressed stare to the naked girl next to his bed.
"Leave." she ordered and the student grabbed her clothes, heading to the toilets in nothing but a sheet. "We need to talk."
"I thought you never wanted to see me again." Thomas said, looking up diagonally with a look of disbelief.
"It's about your fiancee." Ara said, and he looked under the sheet for a moment with a deflated sigh.
"Well, I'm soft now anyways." he commented, letting the sheet drop as he sat up. "Alright, what about Chrys? Has she found another man yet?"
"So she's not with you?" ara asked nervously. "she came to the states to follow you and convince you to marry her or some sort." Thomas furrowed his brow and stood up from under his blankets, staring at Ara. But he wasn't actually staring at ara, but more at what she had just said, ignoring the fact that he was stark naked.
"She's not here." He said with his hands moving to his head, and crabbing at his locks. "She can't survive on her own. She's a high born lady! All sorts of things could be happening to her!" He began rushing to pull his trousers over his legs and a shirt over his head. "Why did no one contact me?"
"As if we knew where to find you." Ara scoffed, leaning back as she sat on a closed wooden crate. "You ran off. No one knew where you went. Your mother had ideas and clues but nothing solid."
"You and her have become quite close in the past few weeks, haven't you? Oh! what she would have given to have a daughter in law against the law that trouble making crone." He laughed almost like a lunatic and then stood full up after tying his shoe laces and pointed at Ara. "Hell, you might even be the son my father would have wanted. Horrible, close minded bastard." He laughed again as he went through his desk drawers, looking for god knows what. When he pulled out a gun, he turned around to look at her. "At least if you ran off, you'd be able to take care of yourself. These girls are born and raised to be looked after by men like potted plants or chickens." He grabbed a bag to shoved the gun into and then his flask from a shelf as well as a deck of cards. The man was frantic, stopping a moment to scratch the stubble on his chin and then running around grabbing things again. "I mean, these girls get married so young! do you know her age? She's sixteen. I'm twenty six! what kind of age gap is that? I'm a bloody child molester. That's why I got cold feet! She's attractive, sure! but i'm not sleeping with a sixteen year old girl! Then again, who knows how old Erin is."
"Who's Erin?" Ara asked,
"My new girlfriend until I find other living arrangements, or a mistress if you still count Chrys as my fiancee. The one you coldly demanded to leave." Arabella rolled her eyes.
"And how many of those do you have?" She asked sarcastically, not prepared for the answer to come.
"About seven. American girls love the accent. How can I refuse all these lovely Harvard ladies?" He tilted his head back and forth slightly pondering about it before stuffing the last weapon in his bag.
"For Vicky's stupid sake, Thomas! It's not a dead or alive sort of deal! We're not killing her."
"No, but there's no harm in threatening."