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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23. Chapter Twenty Three

It was a long night. I seemed to receive every shitty call that could possibly happen. I hadn't spoken with Arcanum, and I felt bad. I sent Emily a text.

'Please let me know, is Arcanum ok?'

Emily replied quickly.

'Oh I'm calling you now. We need to talk. I think Arcanum may have shut down tonight.'
 

I waited, and my phone rang, "Hello?"
 

Emily's soft voice wade me smile, "Hi Cass. How are you?" 
 

I smiled, then sighed, "It's been a long night. Enough to last me my next couple of shifts. So what's wrong with Arc? He's not still pissed at me is he? Bloody hell I had no idea."

Emily spoke, "Oh you don't know?"

I had no idea what she was talking about, "Don't know what?"

Emily spoke, "Oh well for starters, Abby started dating her new guy. Well he's not new. They're official now."

I smiled, "Well she deserved it. She and Farrel deserve to move forward. So how's Arc handling it."

Emily sighed, "I think that's the least of his concerns. Your little fuck friend decided to start some shit. Now I owe Arc, a huge apology. I think Abby already did."

I was so lost, "Not my fuck friend. A couple of quickies. I was deceived. Anyways what did Ornella do now?"

Emily sighed, "So she ran over to Arcs. He'd been drinking. Not drunk though. Well he wouldn't allow Ornella in the house. So she had a tantrum, and left. Well I guess she was injured, and she bumped into Abby. Ornella said she had a fight with him. Abby assumed there was a physical altercation. And well I, and Abby laid into him. I spoke to Abby. She said it was a sprained wrist, and a black eye."

I sighed, "So she used it to her advantage."

Emily grumbled, "Yeah conniving bitch. Arcanum was very depressed Abby said. I tried calling, and texting. He's not answering at all. I told him you couldn't help him out with this. He became upset, because he had no idea what I was talking about."

I spoke calmly, "I can help him on the legal spectrum. He can seek out a restraining order. He's in no danger of any charges."

Emily let out a sigh of relief, "I just don't understand why she's a hell bent on wrecking him."

I pinched the bridge of my nose, "I will swing by after I wrap up my reports."

Emily yawned, "Sounds good. Maybe knock some sense into Ornella."

I laughed, "Gee thanks."

Emily grinned, "I will talk to you later. Night big brother."

I smiled, "Night sweetie." We hung up. My radio went off. Another call. I sighed hearing the details, and proceeded to turn on the lights, and go.

When I arrived on the scene she was whimpering, and holding onto her children for dear life. A laptop sat smashed on the floor. The older child was shaking, and sobbing so hard, he couldn't catch his breath. The baby was cradled tightly in her arms. Her little hand, clung tightly to her mothers shirt. The apartment was in chaos. She couldn't look up at me as I walked in. I squatted down in front of her.

"Hi I'm Officer Presley. We received a call from this address." I looked up at her.

Her son spoke, "I'm Amriel. My dad did this."

I looked around, and took in what was going on, "Where's your dad now?" I asked looking at the young boy.

He pointed down the hallway. Another officer arrived, "Perez down the hall. I'm not sure if he has a weapon." Perez headed down the hall.

"My name is Cassiel." The woman looked up at me.

"The Angel of of solitude and tears." She whispered to me.

I nodded, "Yes, but tonight, Solitude is my goal for you, and your children."

The subject was yelling, and I watched as the kids tensed up, and the mother clung to them.

I ushered the woman, and her children out of the room, and into the daughters room. I shut the door, and stood in front of it, "So can you tell me what happened tonight?" I moved away from the door. I squatted down in front of her. She quietly sat in the rocking chair, in the corner comforting the baby.

"He just snapped. I had the baby, and it's like he's snapped. I just asked him to pick up his mess. He left dishes out, dirty clothes, cords to his phones, and video game systems. He became enraged and," She started to cry again.

I grabbed a tissue off the baby's dresser, and handed it to the woman.

"My name is Nadia. Nadia Grizelle. This is Amriel, and this is Hope." She spoke softly, and voice was like pure satin. So smooth, and comforting.

We continued speaking, and I heard over the radio that the subject was being taken in for Domestic Assault. I looked at Nadia, and her kids. They were scared, and I felt horrible.

"So he won't be out tonight. We can have an emergency restraining order put into affect. Do you have somewhere to go?"

She shook her head, "No. My family isn't around here."

"Well listen. I know it sounds like a pamphlet, but I promise you, you're safe. If he comes back, call us. We will arrest him again. You'll have my card, so you can call if you need anything ok."

She nodded, and put the baby down to sleep, and covered her up. She spoke softly, and walked out with her son, and I. She pulled the door shut behind her, and hugged her son. He quietly waved to me, and headed down the hall to his room.

I handed her my card, "So if you need anything. Call me ok."

She nodded, "Thank you Officer Presley."

I smiled, "Cassiel ma'am. I will say a prayer for you."

She nodded, and I heard the deadbolt after I closed the door behind me. She started weeping, and I felt horrible. I returned to my patrol car, and went onto my next call.

It was seven o'clock in the morning. My shift had ended, and I couldn't be any happier. I changed, and was back into my street clothes. I sent Arcanum a text.

'Hope you're ok. Give me a call when you get a chance.'

I left the station, and climbed in my car. I needed a coffee. That was it. I just had no appetite after the call to Nadia's home. She was terrified, and I couldn't do more then give her my fucking card. I decided I could do more.

I stepped up to the counter and started order, "Hi there. I would love six egg, and cheese on croissants. A box of joe. Fifty count on munchkins. A dozen donuts, and six muffins. I also would like a large hot hazelnut coffee, cream and one sugar." The cashier smiled, and I paid. I was able to balance everything, and made it to my car. I climbed in, and started up my car, and shortly afterwards, I was on my way.

I knocked on her door, using my foot. My hands were full with everything I'd just bought.

"Hello?" Nadia spoke.

"It's Officer Presley, from last night?" I waited.

She opened the door, the chain still blocking any access to her home. She shut the door, and I cold hear the chain being removed. Next thing I knew she opened the door, "Please come in."

I walked in, and set everything down on her dining room table. I pulled the food out, and smiled.

"What's all this Officer Presley?" She walked over looking at the food, then up at me.

"Well it's food. Breakfast honestly, and fresh hot coffee. I thought, you and your children may be hungry." I smiled.

She started to cry, "This is too much. I have no way to pay you."

I patted her shoulder, "The only payment I want is, for your children to have some food in their bellies, and for you to eat something hot. What ever is left over, well it's yours. I know what it's like for you, and your children. Don't ever doubt that you're strong. So I need to be going, it was a long night for me. You have my card still. Get some rest, and have a great day." I smiled, and left her home.

The drive home was quiet, and I felt good. I remembered when the police came to our home. Dad had been drinking, and Arcanum attacked dad. They told him to settle down, and it would be ok in a few hours. I never realized how wrong they could be. It wasn't ok in a few hours, it was... endless.

Emily's hand waved in front of my face, "Earth to my brother. Jesus you're as bad as Arcanum. Was it that bad of a shift?"

I shook my head, freeing myself of the haunting memories of my childhood, "I'm sorry. Yeah it was. It reminded me of dad, and one of his fits of bloody anger. Why do children become entangled in adults problems. Fuck, you can't do that. Bloody hell, you don't need to ever hurt someone."

Emily reached across, and rubbed my arm, "Calm down. People are absolutely insane. I don't know why people feel harming someone is alright either. You helped this person, and these children, and they appreciate that." She smiled at me.

"I brought them breakfast. An assortment of sandwiches, donuts, munchkins, and coffee. I just wanted to make her morning a little easier." I looked up into my sisters beautiful blue eyes.

"You're so benevolent like mother was. I'm glad you helped them out. Is she safe now?" Emily looked up, as our coffee's were set down on the table.

I simply nodded.

"What can I get ya?" The waitress asked.

"Tell Tony, the usual for Cass. For my sister, Blueberry madness." I smiled.

"Alright I will be back with ya food in a few." She smiled, and left us to place the order.

"So I sent Arc a text, but no acknowledgement." I pulled out my phone checking, but he'd still not replied to me.

"Yeah he's not been on anything this morning. Usually he's been on Twitter by this point." Abby sat down beside Emily.

"Hi hun. Yeah I hope he's ok. Usually when he becomes this upset, he vents." Emily sipped her coffee.

"Well I don't know how forthcoming he'll be with any of us right now. He's still pissed at me for freaking on him. I know he's upset with you Cass, but he has no reason to be. I think it's because you never told him. I understand you thought he knew. Well Abby, he shouldn't be bitter with you." Emily peered out the window.

Abby shifted, "I know why he's angry at me. It's because for some brief moment, I thought he could have put his hands on someone."

Emily cringed, "Oh yeah not good."

"He told me about your dad, and how he attacked him." Abby spoke softly, glancing at me.

"Emily was just a baby when it happened. Arc had just lost it. He lunged at him. Drew blood. The police came and told him to settle down. After that, Arc was always beside mom whenever our father was home." I spoke calmly, rubbing my face.

Emily looked around, almost like she was remembering something, "You know now that I think about it. Any photo of the family, Arc was always in between mom, and dad. I never understood why. I was young when dad died though. Arcanum was 15, you were 18, and I was 9."

I nodded, "Arcanum found him. I came home and found Arcanum curled up in the corner. He was hugging his knees. Mom was picking you up from school Emily. I called for help. He wasn't breathing. He was gone. The gun was on the floor, and the blood was splattered on the wall, and floor. Arcanum was covered as well."

Emily shook her head sighing, "He's never spoken about it. Mom tried therapy. Arcanum never spoke. His grades never faltered, and he never was in any trouble. Mom asked him if he wanted any of dad's things. He just walked away, and never answered her. Did we take anything, or did mom just junk it."

"I took nothing. Arcanum never did. She may have donated some things, but the rest met the trash." I looked at Abby who looked absolutely stunned.

"Arcanum found your father? He just told me he died. He'd succumb to his demons." Abby spoke, stroking the side of her coffee mug.

"Oh. No our father shot himself, while Arcanum stood there. I shouldn't be telling you this. No disrespect. It was Arcanum's horrendous experience not ours." I spoke, and could see Emily listening quietly.

"Here you go guys." The waitress set our food down, and refilled our coffees, and left us once again.

"She needs to know Cassiel. It's better if we tell her, because what if Arcanum never does. If he does, at least she's prepared." Emily smiled softly at me.

"I could talk to Arc and let him know he doesn't have to tell. I can explain I know what happened, and I don't want to put him through anymore pain." Abby's voice was soft.

I mulled the idea over in my head, "You have a point Abby." I smiled, and started to eat my breakfast.

Emily spoke, "Is that why you helped out that woman, and her kids. You saw mom in her?"

Abby looked at me, "What happened?"

I swallowed, and explained the call.

Abby sighed, "Give her this. It's a safe home, where she and the kids would share a room. They can bring some belongings. They'll have to follow house rules. She'd have to work. Kids in school."

I nodded, "Well she has a home. She's just afraid of him coming back. They're not married. I've given her my card, and information."

Abby sighed, "That's all we can ever really do."

My phone vibrated, and Arcanum had replied.

'Awake now, but heading to a meeting. Can I help you?'

I sighed and typed back.

'Hoping to have breakfast with you, Emily, Abby, and myself. Just a long night.'

I hit send, and set the phone down.

"He's awake, and heading to some meeting. That's all I got. Oh well a snide, "Can I help you?" I just don't understand what I can do to rectify the issues at hand."

"It's probably because Emily, and I are here." Abby pushed her food away, and looked down at her coffee.

"Well he needs to piss off, and stop being such a prissy bloke." I looked down then, and he'd replied. I swiped my finger across the screen, and read the message.

'Have fun with those two. I want nothing to do with either one of them. They want to believe a deceitful woman, so be it. You, you and I have nothing to speak about right now.'

I sighed, and then saw Abby, and Emily's phone each light up.

"Oh no." Emily sighed seeing who it was.

"Him?" I questioned. Emily nodded, and Abby was quiet. I could see her swallow back tears. She quickly looked up to the ceiling for a diversion.

"Sweetie?" Emily asked, rubbing Abby's arm. Abby slid the phone over to Emily. She quietly read it, and shook her head. "Can I show Cass?" Abby just nodded, and I took the phone reading it.

'I don't see why you care anymore about me. You chose for a split moment to believe Ornella. I've been your best friend for ten years. I'm so sorry I can't reciprocate the feelings you have for me. I guess a little part of me is still hung up on Ornella. Yes after two years, but bloody hell I was betrayed. So to have this happen to me, and lose my friend, I'm truly lost for words. Best of luck. Have fun with Farrell'

I sighed, "Wow, he's quite angry."

Emily looked at me, "Oh he wrote me a lovely message as well." She pushed her phone over to me, as I handed Abby back hers.

'My little sister. I can't believe you, and YOUR friend. Have you ever known me to lay hands upon someone. Don't you even use that piss excuse of a "Father"; and our altercation as an example. You've all shoved that bloody knife in my back. I need to get away for a while. Have fun with your brother, and your "Best Friend." She'll love chatting about love with you.'

I looked at Emily, "Do you think he'd do something stupid?"

She quickly shook her head, "No he doesn't make hasty decisions. Well my only concern is, he's still hung up on "HER" after two years. After this stunt, there's no way he'd take her back. He's been keeping her at arms length."

Abby spoke, "He'd take her back. He'd try his damnedest to please her. If she changed, fuck he'd probably propose again. She has something I don't." She shrugged, "He was the first person for me. He loved me, and cared for me. I guess that's why I was hung up. You expect the person you give your virginity to the person you stay with forever."

Emily let out a loud guffaw, "Oh God! Abby that wasn't towards you. I'm just thinking if that was the truth, poor Cass here would be royally screwed."

Abby chuckled, "True point there."

I rolled my eyes, "Hardy har har. Smart ass." I finished eating, along with Emily. Abby had her food wrapped up to go. I left money for the bill, and a tip. "Well ladies, I have a bed with my name on it. I would love to help aid in it's loneliness." They both laughed.

"I will call you when I'm out of work. Maybe we can all go out for dinner." Emily smiled.

"That or come over my place. We can make something, and maybe watch a movie." Abby smiled.

"Either sounds find. Just put a plan together. I love you girls." I kissed each of them on the cheek, and hugged them before I left.

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