air chap 2

Emile jumped up from his seat.

“Am I the last to know everything?” he shouted. “What does that even mean that you’re a witch?”

“I have… some powers,” said Marie.

“We worked together for years,” said Emile. “We pored over photographs looking for spirits, we visited seances to find any trace of ectoplasm and all this time, you’re, a… a sorciére?”

“I’m sorry, Emile…” said Marie, her eyes watering a little.

“I’m a researcher in the paranormal, I have been derided and ridiculed and any day… any day… you could have stopped that,” he continued. “It is… a kind of betrayal.”

“Emile!” said Sir John.

Arreter!” yelled Marie and Emile froze.

She wiped the tears from her cheeks then pointed a shaking finger at her friend.

“And you have never betrayed or tricked anyone, Emile?” she accused. “Isn’t that your stock in trade. I wanted so many times to tell you and to tell my husband, but it became harder and harder. And you know why? Because of this. I was frightened of this.”

Emile was mute and frozen.

“I was frightened of this,” said Marie again, quietly this time. “Libérer.”

Emile unfroze with a gasp. He looked wildly around the room.

Mon Dieu!” he said and ran out of the church.

Marie sat down at the table and put her head in her hands. Sir John went over and hesitantly put an arm around her.

“And I thought I could throw a scene,” said Sabine. “When I see that boy next I shall have some strong words for him.”

“It is my fault,” said Marie. “I should never have… done that.”

Sabine leaned over and petted Marie on the back.

“I wish I could have done that,” she said before turning to Miss Henderson.

“I believe we should go out to find some food for everyone, perhaps with Miss Morag,” said Sabine to the maid.

“I… yes… perhaps… but…” said Miss Henderson.

“Aye, that’s a good idea,” said Morag.

“And Mr Bosch, perhaps you and Osvold could study the map to make a list of places we might investigate. Over there,” said Sabine pointing to the vampires’ room.

“But there’s plenty of space here?” said Phlebotomous looking confused. Osvold tugged at his shoulder, though and Phlebotomous followed the smaller vampire to their lair.

A bientôt,” said Sabine cheerily, practically dragging Miss Henderson and Morag out of the church.

As the church emptied Marie’s sobs grew louder.

“There, there,” said Sir John, looking a bit panicked. “It will all be alright.”

“Will it?” said Marie, her head still in her hands. “I’ve insulted a dear friend and cast a spell on him.”

“Well, I’m sure he’ll be fine,” said Sir John. “Once he stops being terrified.”

Marie sobbed loudly again.

“I imagine that will be soon,” said Sir John trying to be reassuring.

Marie lifted her head up.

“This was always my fear. That there would be a scene and… something would happen. This is why I hid myself. But this is also why I need to find out more. I know we need to find Clackprattle and Pook, but they will always be scheming, mon cher. We can’t forget why we are here.”

“I agree Marie, but how?” said Sir John.

“There are enough people here to search for them, and I’m sure Emile won’t want to see me anyway. Let’s slip away for a few days. Let’s look together for my history.”

Sir John started to speak then looked into his wife’s eyes.

“I’ll get our things,” he said.

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