Ethan Chandler stopped dead in his tracks. "That's not possible," he muttered, staring across the road at a woman. He recognized her instantly, despite her dyed hair and fancier clothing. Her paleness, originally an effect of her consumption before she'd died, seemed more severe when framed by blonde hair.
"Are quite all right, Mister Chandler?" Miss Ives took his hand worryingly. "You look as though you've seen a ghost."
"I thought," he broke off. "It's nothing." Ethan smiled tightly.
"Nothing? I am being stalked by a vampire and the Devil himself. I'd like to think I can tell when someone is seeing something that ought not to be there." Vanessa looked at her friend prudently. "What did you see?"
"A woman." Ethan exhaled. "A woman I knew."
"There's something you're not saying about her that makes it appear that it ought to be impossible for this woman to be here."
"She's dead," Ethan said shortly.
"And yet there she stands," Vanessa said, looking past Ethan to the woman. Ethan tipped his hat lower on his head in an ill-fated effort to be inconspicuous. "No, don't do that. No one wears a hat tilted that low, you are going to draw attention to yourself when it seems that you would rather not be seen." Ethan straightened his hat as the woman turned the corner. "What is her name?"
"Brona," it tumbled from his mouth. "Her name was Brona Croft."
"The woman you took to the theater?" Vanessa easily recalled the night, though not without some revulsion. Dorian Grey had left a foul and bitter memory in his wake.
"Yes." Ethan's eyes darted to where the woman had disappeared. Vanessa took his arm, walking leisurely across the street and down the crossroad. His heart raced as they followed her, thinking of all that had transpired since she'd (apparently) died. She stood in front of a shop, appearing to browse its contents when the pair caught up to her. They pretended to go on past here when she turned.
"Why are you following me?" The voice was nothing like Brona's soft Gaelic accent. It was cold and disdainful, and there was a fierce hatred burning in her eyes, but she was undeniably Brona Croft.
"What have you done with this body?" Ethan's eyes were hard. "The woman it belongs to is dead. Doctor Frankenstein burned her corpse."
"Do not speak to me of that vile man," she spat disdainfully.
"Why are you wearing her face?" Ethan inhaled sharply, in a failing attempt to stay his temper.
"For the same reason you wear yours. I had no choice in the matter." The woman said coldly. "Now remove your hand from my arm or I shall remove it for you."
Slowly, Ethan realized that he was gripping Bron-, the woman's arm. He let go of her, but his eyes did not leave hers.
"What do you have against the good doctor?" Doctor Frankenstein had been nothing but an aide and friend to Ethan and their company.
"The good doctor?" The woman mocked. "Oh, I think you'll find that your dear doctor is not a good man at all. Though I do suppose that he could be a, pioneer in certain fields of medicine."
"Oh, Brona," he whispered, inaudibly.
Lily stared at the man who had been following her. "How do you know that name?" She asked harshly.
"Brona?" He repeated, his voice incredulous. Lily crossed her arms.
"I asked you a question. Men," she growled. They were all pathetic things that could only focus on one thing at a time, and were usually fueled by a zest for sex. Though this man seemed familiar to Lily, she ignored the sensation and focused her burning rage. "I would bid you a good night, but I don't want to." Lily turned on her heel and walked away, head high.
"You called her Brona," Vanessa remarked casually, sensing that her companion was in a state of shock.
"That's her name," Ethan murmured, staring after Lily.
"Apparently not any more," Vanessa tugged Ethan out of the street as a hansom drove past. "Let us return to the house. You look as though you could use a cup of tea. Or something stronger." Ethan looked rather ill, his face whiter than she'd ever seen him.
The man would not leave Lily's mind. She supposed that some would consider him to be handsome, his foreign accent to be alluring; she found him neither of these and yet he seemed to know who she had used to be. Lily had thought that she had recovered all of Brona Croft's memories from before she'd died – apparently, she had been wrong.