Crimson scarver the gra.., p.16
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       Crimson Scarver : The Grace Flynn Chronicles, p.16

           P. L. McCall II
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  Chapter 16 - Grace’s Decision

  Paris Underground

  Grace’s conscious became aware of the sweet smell of roses and acrid chemicals. She took a deep breath and slowly creaked open her eyes. Her mind remembered the harrowing fall and the smell of her own skin aflame. Yet when she gazed upon her exposed skin it was perfect in every way. It was soft supple, free of charring and of all previous scars that once marked her flesh. She sat up and found herself upon a soft bed in a small room, which appeared to her as a laboratory of some sort. The room’s small door groaned as it opened, and a familiar voice called out. “I see you are awake, are you decent?”

  “Yes, Mister Flamel and do come in.” Grace said excitedly and absently fixed her hair. Grace could only assume she was a complete mess, but she reasoned it did not matter. Being apparently unharmed and alive was far more appropriate.

  Flamel’s lab coat was covered in dry blood and he looked quite tired. His grey flecked hair was a complete mess and his blue eyes were extremely bloodshot. Despite all this his smile was warm and genuine. “You gave me quite a scare during your treatment. You were brought here in an awful mess. Yet he insisted that I fix you.”

  “He?” Grace asked though she already knew the answer.

  “Daedalus, my dear and I warned him the stone might not be enough to save you. You were so near death and in so much pain.”

  “You used the stone on me? Am I?”

  “Immortal? No, I used the stone’s healing power on you. Even with its power you were unconscious for many days. It has apparently done a great job in healing both new and old wounds. It also has given you back a few years and has also returned something else most valuable to a young lady.” Flamel suddenly blushed.

  “Mister Flamel! You can’t be serious. “Grace playfully hit him in the shoulder and blushed slightly as well.

  “I assure you my observation was purely scientific in nature. I do not ever recall a woman being given a second chance to know love in that way, at least provided by alchemy.” Flamel completed his examination. “You should give up this folly with the Daedalus and find a normal life. You have paid your debt to society I believe.”

  “A normal life is not the cards for me, Mister Flamel.”

  “You may call me Nicolas; there is no need for us to be formal among friends.” Flamel stood and smiled. “The decision of future paths is yours, predetermination is for cowards. Something I know that Grace Flynn is most certainly not.”

  “Where is he?”

  “I will let you him know that you are awake. He spent these past days by your side and only left at my stern command. He cares for you genuinely I think, perhaps you remind him of someone he once knew. Be kind to him Grace, but also be wary, his companionship is a most dangerous affair as you already know.”

  Without another word Flamel left to fetch Daedalus. Grace climbed out of bed and put on a nearby robe. She walked gingerly over to a nearby mirror and gazed within it. Despite her lack of attire, she was a vision of youthful beauty. Yet deep in her hazel eyes a fire burned one that could never be quenched even by a magical stone. Grace smiled and then her thoughts turned to her unknown future. She felt her heart flutter with a feeling of uncertainty. Before she could even begin to cope with the new emotions, the door opened once more.

  “Nicolas says you have healed quite nicely.” Daedalus said while nervously dusting the sleeve of his pinstriped coat.

  Grace turned, stormed over to the Daedalus and before he could react, she slammed a fist into his face. Daedalus stumbled backward. He straightened up and wiped a little blood from his now busted lip. A smile crept to his face, “Well I believe that brings us to even point.”

  Grace turned her back on the Daedalus, as tears began to peak from her eyes. She nonchalantly wiped them away hurriedly. A wave of mixed emotions burst into her chest and she could not reason why.

  “Grace, I cannot truly exemplify my thankfulness to the magnitude of your bravery while in my service. I did however provide the details of your actions to the governments who require your imprisonment. They have unanimously agreed to eliminate all charges against you. You are a free woman and quite wealthy, considering what I have paid for your services.” Daedalus sighed and rubbed his jaw.

  Grace turned to face Daedalus. “You are the most big-headed man I have ever known. You revel in flaunting your own cleverness and seem to care nothing for the feelings of those around you. One might think you would relish no human company if you could make your inventions and books speak back to you.” Grace could feel her face flush with anger as her unkempt hair fluttered upon her cheeks.

  “Well it would appear you kept some of that fire in your blood from your most recent fall.” Daedalus halted any further quip when he saw Grace’s fist clench once more.

  “So I am to understand that I am no longer under your employment.”

  “You are a free woman Grace Flynn, in the purest of definitions. While I found your work to be satisfactory during your employment, I know you may now wish to pursue other endeavors. The world can be most generous to a young, beautiful and wealthy woman.

  I have made arrangements to put a quaint parcel of land, with a small cottage in your name and accounts drawn up for your new monetary holdings. I have also provided you with a new dossier outlining your clean background as a young heiress. Your father incidentally was made a ship captain, by the English government, who died off the coast of Borneo, to pirates, leaving all his assets to you. You know most people’s identities are nothing more than a collection of records held by various government organizations. Since most we know tend forget us when we leave their sight.”

  “Does that mean I shall be forgotten when I leave your company? “Grace growled.

  “I assure you Grace, one could never forget you. I have travelled this world for a very long span of time. I have never met anyone that would compare or overshadow you, Miss Flynn, in my eyes.”

  “So what are you exactly saying Daedalus?”

  “I am clearly responding to your inquiries nothing more. You have fulfilled your debt to both government and your employer. You are free to seek your future through much less dangerous affairs.”

  “Why did you save me?”

  “It was in your contract was it not?”

  “I do not remember usage of the stone in the details of that agreement.”

  “You never cease to amaze me Grace; you are indeed a woman that could outwit most anyone if given the opportunity.”

  “What if I do not wish to leave? What if I wish to stay under your employment?”

  “Impossible, your contract with me is fulfilled and I do not require anything else from you Miss Flynn. My life is dangerous to say the least and I do not wish to destroy this opportunity for you. You have lived a life of full of hardship and now a new prospect has appeared. I think you owe it to yourself to find serenity.”

  “None of this explains your saving me, and your vigil at my bedside. Nicolas was happy to divulge that fact.”

  “Grace what is it you seek for me to impart? To me you are still fragile despite your strengths. You were the rose growing in the desert and I did not wish to see you die from your thirst for revenge.” Daedalus paused and his eyes sparkled with a hidden emotion. “I asked the stone to be used because your light was not meant to be extinguished by me. You say that I am arrogant and do not wish the company of others. Here I must correct you. It is I who am not worthy of the company brought by people like you and Flamel.” Grace moved to Daedalus who raised a hand to stop her.

  “Grace Flynn, a room has been prepared for you upstairs. Clothing and the required paper work for your new life await you. Please do not seek to change my position on this matter. You have done well take your reward and stray from things that may bring you harm once more.” Daedalus turned to leave.

  It was then a realization formed in her mind, the events of her death unfolded in her memory and it r
eminded her of a story long ago. One she thought myth until the very legend found her.

  “You did this because of Icarus.” Grace said softly.

  Daedalus stopped in the doorway his hand gripped upon the door handle with apparent emotion.

  “Know this Grace, fortunate is the soul that can find closure in a world that remains open with jaded perception. I did what anyone would have done, given the opportunity to save something of loveliness and to mend my own fractured soul if only in the smallest of ways. The act could be seen as purely selfish by most and perhaps it was just that.”

  “Well I am thankful then of your greedy heart.”

  Daedalus closed the door and left Grace alone. The room seemed a bit colder now that she was once again alone. Her thoughts were a jumble of emotions and possibilities. She obviously had a great number of decisions to make, so she started by choosing to get dressed.

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