Surprise! That's right, I have written another chapter. Every one can faint now. Sorry it took almost four months to do it, but I had a small disaster to deal with and then I had a vicious case of writer's block. I also apologize for the shortness of the chapter. I promise I will try to do better and update soon or better yet, start writing again. Hopefully the new To a Goblin's Delight chapter will be ready soon.
Okay, enough chit chat. On with the reading and the reviewing ...bat's eyelashes...
Disclaimer. Victor I claim as my own invention for he is too cute not to, though I have not nor shall I ever receive anything other than your mirth from him. The rest of the characters and the world in which Victor exists belong to others. I make no claims on them what so ever.
Now then the reading and review!
Victor Ea Vian
Chapter 15: Carson
When V turned, dismissing Dominic from his mind, he had expected to see his child cuddling the Paddington bear which had so struck the little boy's fancy. Instead, he found his son sitting amongst a field of flowers, the bear discarded at his side, and his face contorted in concentration as he fiddled with something in his lap. Every move the boy made alerted him something was wrong. His son never ignored a new toy, especially something as significant to him as Paddington. Before Inspector Stone could turn and inquire what was happening, V was by his son's side.
"What have you found, Cub? You were to collect your bear and immediately return to my side."
The little boy looked up, his eyes bright with self-importance. "I found our flowers Daddy. The ones you and Mummy grow. They were with my bear and look, Daddy, there's a ka-boom in them."
V blinked, taking a second to register what his son had just said. There is a ka-boom in them? Scarlet Carsons? Kneeling for a closer look, he was surprised to see not only his prized roses, but an unmistakable elementary bomb nestled within them.
"Do no move, Cub. Remain perfectly still." He spoke with force, unable to hide his sudden terror. One move and he could detonate it. One move and I will lose my son. Is someone watching? Is there someone waiting to lift their finger and set it off? May the Gods in their Heavens keep my Evey away and protect my son.
"What's wrong, Daddy? What did I do?" The little boy looked at his father, his eyes clouding with tears as his lower lip began to tremble. "Why are you mad at me?"
"I am not. No, Victor, Daddy is not angry. Shhhhh, my cub, shhhhh, do not cry. You must sit perfectly still while I examine these explosives."
He tried to calm his voice and keep it even. He could not let his son know his heart was about to pound from his chest in fear, and for the second time in his remembrance, he was terrified. Only when he thought Evey had died in childbirth, had he been as frightened. "Can you? Can you be as still as a statue and not move?"
Victor nodded even though tears were streaming down his face. "I didn't mean to be bad, Daddy. I just wanted the bear."
"You were not bad, you have done nothing wrong. Now please be still." On hands and knees, he dropped his head next to the flowers, scanning the device. "Crude. Extremely crude. A timer, but there may be a remote detonation as a back up."
"Can you deactivate it?"
So consumed was he with the safety of his son, V had not been aware of Dominic Stone approaching. Somewhere in his mind, he noted the young man was keeping a small distance between them, not quite willing to approach, but still close enough to offer a determined face to his fear.
"I believe I can. These particular explosives are unstable and whoever crafted the device are incredibly sloppy with their work; as a result, it may be even more volatile." He glanced up at the young police inspector. "You are to send Eve back to the Gallery, even if you must pick her up and carry her there. She is not to come near. I cannot lose my wife and all of my children in one instant."
"You're going to lose me? I'm going to blow up?" Victor's eyes grew huge as panic crept into his voice. "I don't want to blow up Daddy! I want to go home with Mummy. Don't let me go ka-boom Daddy. Please! I want Mummy. I WANT MUMMY!"
"Calm yourself, cub. You must be the bravest of little boys at this moment. You must be still and quiet so you do not explode. Do you understand?"
"Sport?" V jumped as a figure knelt down next to him and a hand touched his son's outstretched leg. "What have you found there, runt?" smiled Dominic reassuringly.
Victor looked at him with large doe eyes brimming with tears. They were so like Evey's the young inspector felt his chest tightening. They could not lose this child. Neither parent would be able to survive if the unmentionable was to occur.
"I want Mummy." It was said so quietly, the Inspector found himself, much to his horror, leaning in closer to hear.
"Without a doubt. I suspect she will be coming along soon. Mummies can't leave their brave little boys, can they?"
'Where is she?'
At the question, V's heart dropped. His head never rising and fingers remaining, working with the device, he addressed the obvious question. "I, too, am very surprised Eve is not here. Especially, since you just ignored my request to take her away."
'You told me to take her to the Gallery.'
'I did, but yet…' he let the rest of the sentence hang in the air, waiting for the young man to realize what he was saying.
"But yet I'm here." He started slowly as the thought grew in his mind. "Knowing Evey, she should have shoved me out of the way and scooped up the tyke by now." Snapping his head around in the direction of the house, Dominic frowned as he watched security agents leading its occupants away.
"Something has gone wrong in the house."
"Let me go, and get out of my way."
The hand on her arm tightened, as the man barring her path prevented her from moving across the threshold of the doorway.
"Evey stay calm. He is out there with," Eric hesitated for a moment debating whether to say V or Sebastian before settling on the obvious. "Dominic. He will take perfectly good care of him. Both of them. Stay here with me. We must keep you safe."
"That is my son, Eric. Move or I will move you."
"Now Ev…" Before he could finish her name, there was a cracking noise and the Irishman pitched forward, dropping to his knees. As she caught him and lowered his bulk to the floor, Evey instantly became aware of Stanton in the doorway with a truncheon in hand. On its sleek black surface was fresh blood.
"Eric!" Evey's hand went to his throat, her fingers searching for his pulse. Finding it, she glanced up to see Stanton joined by Carson with three other men who were unknown to her.
"Evey," announced Carson in his gentle, quiet voice. As he spoke, he stooped; making her think he was going to help her. Instead, too late she saw the hypodermic in his hand as he plunged it into her arm. With a yelp, she jerked away, pulling the moaning chief inspector with her.
"We can do this the hard way, or the easy way." He stood and dropped the syringe in his pocket. "Which will it be?"
"Go to hell," She said with a snarl, as she tried to pull Eric across the floor, debating if she could just leave him and run for help. If I scream, will they kill me? Already her head was beginning to swim and her limbs were growing heavy. Something inside of her was shouting she was too calm, too collected. The idea Richard Carson was in league with Stanton was too shocking as she tried to stand and failed.
"What have you done? What are you doing to my son?"
"A diversion, my dear. Just a diversion to keep everyone occupied long enough to take you away." He turned to one of the men near them. "Is the car at the door?"
"Good. Go let it be known that in her fragile state, the Minister was overcome and is being rushed to the hospital for care." He nodded towards the semi-unconscious policeman in her lap. "And get rid of him. We can't have him coming too and raising the alarm. Make certain it will be some time before they find him."
With grunts of acknowledgement two of the men swarmed down and lifted the Chief Inspector, dragging him out the door towards the rear exit.
"Remember not to kill him" reminded Carson.
Again, the men grunted.
Every fight-or-flight instinct in Evey's body sprang to life, but her arms felt like lead and it was getting harder to focus. She was only vaguely aware of Stanton stepping forward and roughly hoisting her to her feet. Blinking, she tried to pull out of his clutches.
"What are you doing? Richard, let me go." Her words were slurred and her tongue felt thick in her mouth. She was dimly aware of the old diplomat looking at her with sadness in his eyes as her head dropped forward and the world went black.
"BLOODY HELL!" Roared V as he leaned so close to the bomb that his nose was in the flowers.
"What?" Dominic leaned forward, trying to see what had caught his attention.
Sitting back, V snatched the flowers from Victor's lap and tossed them carelessly aside as Victor hurled himself into his father's arms and instantly burst into tears. "I don't want to go ka-boom."
"Fear not Cub, you will not," V patted his child soothingly while giving part of his attention to the device lying beside him. Reaching out with one had, keeping the other wrapped around his son, he turned the boutique slowly. "It is a fake. When this goes off, it shall only produce sparks and a great deal of smoke. Someone is trying to distract us from the real issue."
His attention instantly went to the residence. Grabbing the policeman by the elbow, half leading, half yanking him forward, V spoke rapidly.
"We must be off the street. Something is going on here and I do not want my son in the open." V turned to his son. "When you are inside, Victor, tell them you are sick and then make your way through the tunnels with your mother. I need you to go with them, Inspector. My cub is afraid of the dark, but manages well when he is not alone. You must keep my family safe while I determine what is happening."
"There will be no 'buts'. You will take my son to safety. I only hope Eric has kept Evey safe as well."
The car carrying Evey raced through the streets of London. It had been a simple task getting her into the car. No one had thought it odd or unusual. It was merely the act of security agents taking their charge away. The fact she was limp and being carried was easily explained away as a pregnant woman overcome with emotion.
In the backseat of the car, Evey's head rested in Carson's lap as he casually stroked her hair and addressed Stanton.
"Is the plane ready?"
"Fueled and waiting. All the arrangements have been made. Heather will be there when you arrive."
"Excellent." He looked down at the woman in his lap. "She is such a beautiful creature is she not? So small and frail. It is hard to believe there can be so much determination and strength in someone so small."
Stanton shrugged and looked out of the window to the buildings speeding by. "I agree she is beautiful, but…there is just something about her."
"You let your prejudice get in your way, Daniel. You have never seen the potential and the power Evey Hammond possesses. If she wanted, she could have been Prime Minister by now. She could have declared herself Queen and none would have stopped her. Evey and her lover overthrew the British government, Daniel. The two of them single handedly changed the world. She is not someone you should be underestimating."
"He will be coming after us. He will not let us have her."
The old man nodded as he wound a curl around his finger. "I am counting on it."
V had not expected the haphazard stage in front of the residence to explode, knocking them off their feet and filling the air with billows of white smoke and falling debris. Pulling his son close to his chest, he rolled across the boy, protecting him with his own body. Against him Victor howled. It was a reassuring sound, indicating the child was scared, but otherwise uninjured.
"Tear gas" called Dominic coughing violently as he tried to stand up. "Cover your mouths." Pieces of the podium where Evey was supposed to have stood rained down on them.
V's eyes burned as lifted his head and look at the residence "Eve" he choked. His eyes stinging to the point of blindness, V grappled toward the door which had been reduced to a slab of wood hanging from a hinge. His sobbing son clung to him, refusing to let go.
"EVEY!" he shouted, falling over an object on the ground. In the doorway lay David, Evey's assistant, killed from a flying piece of debris. "EVEY!" He knew it was useless to shout, to call to her. He knew she was long gone.
Holding his son so he would not see the body, V began to cuss to himself as he surveyed the area around him. It had all been a diversion. The bear, the fake bomb, even the explosion. All was meant to keep him away. With his wailing child, V looked at Dominic, blood was pouring from a cut on the young man's head.
"Chief! Evey!" The inspector choked, staggering across the body and through the door. "Chief?"
With a shake of the head, V followed, knowing there was no use. His Eve was gone.
Thanks for reading and hopefully reviewing! More coming soon