Warren cradled his hand in his arm as he walked home. So weak. So vulnerable. So pathetic. Never, never had a woman sunk him to such depths before. His mother had worshipped everything he'd done as a child, as rightly she should have. He was a delight. And Molly had never so much as raised her voice to him for the time she lived at the town house. He'd made sure of that. Plus, one glare from Warren used to make Lydia Hiddlestone quake in her boots, so she'd never been anything but an extension of the furniture during her time with them.
But this woman.... She did whatever she wanted, without any regard for anybody. If she had something to say, she said it. Hell, he'd pissed her off a little and she'd hacked his finger off.
He raised his hand to inspect it. The doctor had re-attached it without a problem, except that Warren was sure it hadn't used to lean so much to the left before. Still, he didn't complain. Not any doctors in the city would take a patient without insurance anymore, especially not for something like this. Plus, Dr. Shay was a friend of Warren's father's, and he'd done the job for half price. Handy, seeing as Warren was living on carriage driver's money.
When Molly had accidentally broken one of Warren's favourite cups a year ago, he'd gone mental. He'd backed her into a corner and hit her across the face so hard that she didn't get up for ten minutes. He also scraped his knuckles on the metal side of her face, and had bled more than she had. That made him even angrier, and he kicked her four times in the stomach.
She just made him angry. She made him angry just by being out there, and existing.
So why wasn't he angry with the woman who had chopped off his finger?
He stopped walking, right on the crossroads between his side of town - the safe, secure, friendly side of town where neighbours smiled at each other and threw pennies to jolly musicians on the street - and the Other side of town, where nobody even bothered to clean the blood from the walls anymore, and where plumbing systems and basic manners were obsolete.
Carriages clattered past, people chattered and strolled by, carrying baskets of fresh fruit, children giggled and raced each other to and from home, some dressed quite decently, others dressed in rags not fit for polishing a fireplace, but none ever mixing with the other set.
He knew where she would be, and it wasn't the pretty side of London. A wild, feral thing like her relished the danger and uncertainty of those parts. She fed off of it, and not just because it paid her wages. Warren knew that it was just who she was, who she had to be.
He also knew that he would be there, knives and all, and that he wouldn't think twice before hacking off a rather important piece of his body not yet attempted by his sister.
Yet, Warren thought with a childish grin, which quickly fizzled out as his eyes drifted toward the shady alleyways. Come on, he said to himself. Silus goes this way all the time to pick out the best of the best to associate himself with. If he can survive it, you can.
A cat, spattered in blood, and holding what looked like a mound of matted human hair in its mouth, sprinted out from behind a wall, disappearing down a dark alley, seemingly unknown to everyone on the street except Warren.
Warren shuddered and walked on, heading for home. Sure, it would have been romantic for him to hunt her down, but.... He could always just wait for her to come to his office, asking for her payment, after she'd spilled Molly's blood everywhere.
Yes. That would be romantic too.