The City of Lost Souls

Arcanum Corvus is an author. He has a book on the New York Times Bestseller list called, Amissus animarum. There's a catch, nobody know's what he looks like. Matter of fact, nobody knows who he is; well there are a few. Arcanum has a past, and he cautiously exposes it through his characters. There's more to Arcanum than meets the eye. So who is the mysterious author, nobody truly knows.

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8. Chapter Eight

     We were sitting down to dinner, and eating quietly. 
     Emily smiled, “No complaints is always quite nice.” 
     Cassiel couldn’t resist, “I’m just hungry. It looked edible.” 
     I knew he was joking, but Emily wasn’t too thrilled. 
     “Well Cassiel, wild mushrooms look edible as well. But they’re actually quite toxic. So please by all means.” She looked back at her plate, and cut into her chicken. 
     “This is absolutely wonderful sis. Thank you so much.” 
     She smiled at me, “You’re quite welcome. You might just be my favorite brother now.” She looked at Cassiel, and scowled at him. 
     “Eh, easy on an old man there. I’m a wanker, but a caring one.” 
     I muttered raising my glass to my lips, “Yeah caring when you’re making out in the deal.” Emily snickered. Cassiel finished his last bite, and wiped his mouth. 
     “Tea?” Cassiel prompted. 
Emily laughed, “Oh Arcanum is such a poor excuse for a Brit. He doesn’t drink the stuff. He prefers his Starbucks.” 
     I laughed, my head falling back, “Oh bloody hell, it’s coffee. You make it seem like the God’s themselves drink it.” 
      She raised an eyebrow at me. 
     “I just prefer something stronger then what tea has to offer.” 
     Cassiel let out this booming laugh, “Arcanum you have chest hair already. That shit’s so strong, it may put hair on your back as well.” 
     I smirked, and made myself a cup of coffee. The creak of the floor board at the bottom of the stairs alerted me she was up. 

        I smiled, and leaned against the counter. Emily kept a plate warm for her Abby. Cassiel smiled, making Abby a cup of tea. She looked at me, her arms crossing her chest. She was tired, and I could tell. 
        “Hi Noodle. Feeling better?” I smiled at her, still concerned.
        She shrugged, “Um, I’m thirsty. May I have something to drink?”
        I set down my mug, and walked over to her. “Anything you’d like in particular?” 
        Cassiel smiled, “Tea? Coffee?” 
        Abby croaked, “Coffee please.” 
        He smiled, “On it Hun.” 
        I rested my arms on her shoulders, and bent down so I could look in her eyes, “Are you warm enough?” 
        She nodded, “I’m sorry about your bathroom.” 
        I smiled, “Don’t worry about it love. I’ve cleaned it all up.” 
        She looked up at me. Her eyes were red, her lips were rosey, against her pale skin. 
        I stroked her cheek with the back of my hand, “Do you want to lay back down, or eat something?” 
        She looked at the food, and her stomach made a groaning sound. “I will wrap it up, and you can have it later sweetie.” Emily smiled, and carefully wrapped it up. 
        Cass walked over with a cup of coffee. I took it from him.
        “Let’s sit in the living room ok.” She nodded, and walked into the living room, holding onto me. Almost like she was afraid of losing me. 

        I followed her setting her coffee on the small table beside the couch. She pulled her knee’s up to her chest, and wrapped her arms around them. I grabbed a blanket, and wrapped it around her shoulders. 
        She looked up at me, “Do I have to go home tonight?” 
        

        

        I looked at her, taking her face in my hands. “No. You’re staying with me. You can have my bed, I will take the guest room.” 
        Her lip started to tremble, “Abby what is it? Please talk to me.” 
        She took a moment to compose herself, “Can you just hold me tonight. I’m really feeling down. I don’t want to be alone.” 
        I hugged her gently, and kissed her forehead, “I’m not angry at you at all. I just wished you had woken me up.” 
        She sniffled, and tears were streaming down her cheeks, “I was just so upset. I over reacted, and I shouldn’t have. You’re not an ass.” 
        I laughed, “Bloody hell girl. I had a laugh at that. You quoted Reynard.” 
        She smiled, and a soft chuckle escaped her. 
        “I felt like we were in the seminar, when they argue. You used my characters.” 
        She blushed, and looked up through her long lashes. “I’m really sorry. I think we need to talk.” 
        I nodded, “I agree.” 
        She patted the couch beside her. I sat down, and wrapped my arm around her. 

        Cassiel, and Emily had gone home. I shut off the light in the living room, and found Abby already in bed. I smiled, and changed into a pair of sweats. 
        “Do you mind if I sleep without a shirt.” I asked her, providing I was gentleman, and didn’t want her uncomfortable. She shook her head. I shut off the light in my closet, and walked over pulling back the covers. She was lying on her side, and I slid into bed beside her. I used my elbow to prop myself up. 
        She rested her head on her arm, “Hi.”
        I smiled, “Hi.” 
        She was happy, but nervous. I could hear her heart pounding. 
        “Relax Noodle. I’m not going to try and seduce you. Bloody hell I’m a gentlemen. I’m not my brother.” 
        She smirked, “I take it that’s not a good thing.” 
        I sighed, “My brother is a great person. If his penis had a passport, it would have too many stamps to count.” 
        Abby snickered nervously. “I don’t have what do you call it, fuck buddies. I’ve had  a lover, but no one night stands. I respect women, and the act of love too much.” 
Abby looked at me, and it was almost as though I saw part of wall come down. 
        She smiled, “I see so much of Micah in you.” 
        I smiled, “Likewise with Olivia, and you my dear.” Abby looked at me, “You do base her off of me?” 
        I nodded, “Yep. The newest character, Abraham is based on Cassiel.” 
        Abby reached to touch me, then withdrew her hand. 
        I looked at her, “Please be comfortable with me.” 
        She moved slower this time, and then touched my chest. Her fingers played with the small patch of hair I had. 
        “I thought you blew me off a few nights ago. Then when I got the Hyacinth, I knew you were truly remorseful. I was so upset with my own actions, I couldn’t face you.” 
        I looked at her, “Yeah Cassiel gave me shit.” 
        She looked at me, “Oh I wasn’t trying to cause problems between you two.” 
        I shook my head, “Cassiel has always been up my bloody arse. Probably was up my ass, when I was in my mother’s womb.” 
        Abby giggled, “Protective?” 
        I thought about it. “Not so much protective but, no it all. He finds humor in everything.” 
        Abby smiled, “So no hard feelings?” 
        I shook my head, “None darling.” I rubbed my nose against hers, “Eskimo Kisses.” 
        She smiled, “Eskimo Kisses.” She looked at me, “So I know I really was irrational. I don’t know what’s going on exactly.” 
        I sighed, “I know what you’re getting at. Abby, I love you so much. Right now, a relationship, as lovers just wouldn’t be logistical. You’re busy with work. Plus you’re still young. Don’t get me wrong please. Right now, I’m not in the right frame of mind.” 
        She looked at me, blinking back tears, “It’s ok I understand.” She kissed my cheek, then turned so her back was facing me. I moved closer, and wrapped my arms around her. 
        “I love you Noodle.” 
        She whispered, “I love you too, Arcanum.” 
        I reached behind me and shut off the light.

        I woke up to an empty bed. I felt around on the sheets.
        "Abby?" 
        She wasn't there. I sat up quickly and threw the covers off. I was disoriented as to what day it was. Sunday morning according to the calendar. I relaxed a little. She might be downstairs cooking breakfast. That wouldn't be out of the realm of possibilites. I looked around. Her clothes were gone. The shorts, and shirt were in the laundry basket. I maneuvered around my bed expeditiously and down the staircase. 
        "Abby, Abby where are you?" 
        I called out looking around frantically. There in the living room, curled up on the couch she sat. She'd been reading, and dozed off. Inferno laid against her chest. Her head rested against the back of the couch. She'd been reading Inferno again. That was her go to book when she was upset. It was mine as well. I sighed, and covered her up. I was so miffed about not being able to be with her. What was truly stopping me. I sat dwelling on my thoughts I’d shared with Abby. I told her, she was still young; but honestly she wasn’t. She was legal. She could vote, buy cigarettes, alcohol, rent a car. 
        She stirred mumbling, “Gabriel please. I love you.”
        I stopped dead in my tracks. I turned on my heel, and looked at her. She’d shifted, and the book had fallen to the floor. I knelt down picking it up carefully, and placed it on the coffee table. I sat on the edge of the dark table. I was hunched over resting my chin on steepled fingers. I don’t know who was more emotionally fucked up, Abby, or myself.

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