Marie Fontaine, a nurse employed privately by a very wealthy businessman, walked briskly down the hallways, her heels clipping through the silent stony hallways. She surveyed the chipping paint on the walls with an air of disdain. Holding her clipboard close to her chest, she pressed her way into the quiet room. Her patient, Mr. Darren Whittaker, was lying on his cot, discussing something irrelevant in English with the young lady Madame Fontaine assumed was his ward— there was no family resemblance between the thin and wrinkled old man and the svelte, dark-skinned and mischievous looking young woman. Whittaker held his hand to silence the girl.
“J’ai peur que ce terminal. Vous n’avez pas longtemps à vivre, I’m afraid it’s terminal. You do not have long to live,” the nurse sighed, “Je suis désolé. I’m sorry.”
“Terminal?” The young girl said softly, clenching her hand around the old man’s. Whittaker sighed.
“Merci, madame. Je participerai à ma volonté et de biens rapidement. Thank you, madame. I will attend to my will and estate soon.” He pushed himself up on his elbows, and the young lady stood and adjusted his pillows for him to sit up. “Please, erm, s’il vous plaît envoyer pour mon avocat please call my lawyer.”
Madame Fontaine nodded and left the room, but after she shut the door and took a few steps, she slipped out of her heels and crept back to the door, pressing her ear tight against the wood.
“I told you the cold air would do you no good,” the girl said. “You should have listened to me and come to America.”
“I couldn’t. Masodrax’s whelp has been seen there.”
“The wyrmling has been spotted in Europe, too, and America is a big place.”
“With the Red Court to the south and the White Court to the west, the only safe place is in the metropolitan northeast.”
“And so you brought us here, Master? I’ve seen the moth flitting around the windowsill. Masodrax is never far.”
“But he has sworn not to touch me. And his mothman upholds his master’s oaths, just as you uphold mine,” the man said sternly. The girl chuckled.
“As you command.”
“I have sworn to return the eye to Masodrax before I leave this world, and I intend to. That’s where you come in. Take this to the States and tell Herrington that I know where his father’s eye is.”
“My master, I know where the eye is. If you would but give me permission to enter the chamber, I could give it to Masodrax myself.”
“I wouldn’t trust the likes of you with the eye, or any of your kind! No, you will tell Herrington that I know it’s location, and then you will return to me, do you understand me?”
“I do, my master.”
“Then go to see Herrington. You are dismissed.”
Madame Fontaine could feel the hairs on the back of her neck stand on end. Finally, all this waiting had paid off! She had put up with that old lech’s hungry eyes and sickening English comments— oh, there were days when she wanted to tell him she spoke English as well as he did!— but now, she could finally get her reward. She quickly headed to the telegraph office. First, she sent a telegram to Whittaker’s lawyer. The second, she sent to her contact. As she finished the last stop, she could feel her hands shaking. Finally, finally.