AN: After a decade long hiatus, I finally give you a new chapter (even though this story had five chapters initially, this one is completely new). Had this chapter planned out awhile back but never wrote it. For those who read this prior to June 6, 2015 midnight Central time, I advise you to reread the entire story because I thoroughly edited the entire thing, combined chapter 2 and 3, and lengthened most of the chapters. Chapter 1 is double its length.
Disclaimer: I have a cat now.
Back in the stone white manor, organ music filled the main living quarter. The haunting composition of Johann Sebastian Bach reverberated against the walls to the empty halls while the storm continued to rage outside. Over a hundred wax candle dimly lit the room, creating a somber atmosphere. (6)
Long bony fingers graced the ebony and ivory keys as nimble feet tapped against the wooden pedals. The maestro played like he was possessed by the instrument, body moving erratically like a marionette puppet. He banged the keyboards ferociously against the sound of thunder and rain. Sweat dripped from his silver brows. Intense eyes only focused on the music sheet in front of him. He couldn't stop till he was finished with the masterpiece that is "Toccata and Fugue in D Minor."
The room was adorned with many extravagant decorations—a rhino with gold horns stood next to the leather couch, a house of cards sat on a Rococo-styled red oak coffee table, a large Grecian vase held a dozen birds of paradise, a cluster of jade grapes in a porcelain bowl from China, a real mummy concealed in an exquisite golden box next to an ottoman—but nothing was as extraordinary as what was on the wall. There on the mantelpiece hung an enormous portrait of a woman in a periwinkle gown with a Mona Lisa smile. The image looked like it's breathing under the orange glow of the candles.
Wind seeped in from the dusty fireplace. The candlelight danced and flickered with the harmony of the tune. Strange shadows crept around in hidden corners, stealing objects from the light. Finally with his body stiffed and arms raised, Pegasus finished the piece with such gusto. The organ released him, cut him from its strings. He smiled, satisfied with his work.
"Encore!" Ovation emerged by the entry way from his only audience. It startled him, waking him up from his trance.
Pegasus watched as a young girl made her way towards him, her blonde ponytails bounced with each step. She looked at him with precocious eyes as blue as a sunny, cloudless sky. She wore a blue blouse with a pink pleated skirt and a matching bowtie. A beloved teddy bear is clutched under her arms for safekeeping. (7)
"Have you eaten yet, Rebecca?" The musician smiled as he greeted her.
The young girl nodded, "Croquet had brought me some food but I'm not really hungry… after what happened."
Pegasus nodded understandingly, trying hard not to divulge his grin. "It's awful what happened to your grandfather. I'm very sorry you had to witness such a crime." With a quick pause he added, "But at least you still have me."
"Please, call me 'daddy'," He watched as her mouth opened in protest. "I know I didn't get to raise you these past several years but you are still my child. I promise I'll be more involved with your life from now on."
Rebecca kept quiet, clutching her bear tighter to her chest. Pegasus took notice. The silver-haired man leaned closer, "Say, did you know who gave you that bear?"
The girl shook her head.
"When you were an infant, you used to cry nonstop, more than any child would. Your mother and I were powerless on what to do. We tried everything. Well, one day, while walking pass a store front, your beautiful mother saw that thing in a marvelous display. She bought it right away. And from the moment you laid eyes on it, you stopped crying. It was a miracle. Truly."
The mayor waited for Rebecca's reaction but she avoided looking at him. "Do you know you look a lot like your mother?" He continued, "I missed her dearly."
"If you loved her so much, than why are you getting remarried?" The child snapped.
The man furrowed his brows, "I don't know what your grandfather had been telling you but it's all circumstantial. I honestly loved your mother the most. You will see that with time. There's a lot that you don't understand right now because you are still young."
The girl pouted, unconvinced. Pegasus knew that there was no point trying to change her mind at this moment. Things are starting to fall into place. He got custody of his daughter back after permanently ridding the world of old Arthur Hawkins, his biggest obstacle from the past. Now he just needs Serenity Wheeler, his bride-to-be. The sooner he gets her back the better.
"Anyways, this will be your new home now. Your name will revert back to Rebecca Cecelia Pegasus, as it should," before the girl had a chance to protest, Pegasus immediately devised a diversion, "I heard that you had piano lessons back at Las Vegas. (8) Would you like to learn how to play an organ instead?"
After a long standstill, Rebecca looked longingly at the baroque instrument and nodded reluctantly. Maximillion gestured her to sit next to him on the bench. And with that Pegasus knew he will eventually win her over. Little girls are easy to please.
Unlike the eventual victory at the manor, a humiliating defeat is being lamented in another part of town.
At the saloon, Joey Wheeler chugged down his third stein of beer.
"Another!" He shouted, slamming his foamy mug down on the countertop which earned him a glare of indignation from the bartender. "Man, now I know why my old man loved this place."
"Well, he isn't welcome here anymore," the woman informed him before handing him another glass, "Same goes for you if you break any of my cups."
Joey shrugged before taking gulp. He studied the woman behind the counter. She has big, voluminous corn-blonde hair and eyes of deep violet. She wore a white lacey bustier that revealed a lot of cleavage from her voluptuous body. Joey tried but failed miserably at not gawking at her like all the other perverts at the bar. Feeling a little dirty, Joey took another swig.
"So what happened there?" She pointed at his arm in a sling.
Joey stared at her before looking down at his left arm, "Long story."
After a minute of silence, the woman went back to washing mugs. "Did you hear that the major's fiancée got kidnap by a vampire earlier this week?" The young man finally spoke. The blonde woman nodded for him to continue. "That was my sister."
"No way!" She gasped, "Your sister is a vampire?"
It took Joey a moment to realize what she just said. "No! My sister is engaged to the mayor. And she got taken away by some creep that drinks people blood."
"Anyways, I went to go rescue her. Got a couple skilled riflemen with me and we got really close to finding her too," he took another sip of his drink. "But then crap hit the fan. He found us before we got to the Serenity. That thing is strong and fast. He mercilessly attacked us. My men put up a good fight but we were no match for that monster. There was blood everywhere. I watched him feast." He frowned at the memory.
The bartender studied him. She placed a cup in front of him and poured him a double shot of whiskey, aged ten. "On the house. It's a whole lot better than all that piss tasting beer you've been drinking."
"Is your boss O.K. with this?"
The woman let out a loud laugh. "I am the owner of this place. No one can be the boss of me." Joey looked at her, surprised.
"The name is Mai Valentine. You're Joey Wheeler, right?" He nodded. Wow, this hot woman already knows his name.
"Hey lady, if you need any protection or security services, I'll be your man." Joey offered.
She smiled and look at his sling again, "You never got to the part about your arm."
"Oh. Well, after he finished my men off, he flew away. I think I scared him off or something. King of vampires, my ass, more like the king of coward. Am I right?" he laughs to himself. "When I was making my way back here, I tripped over a rock and landed on my arm."
Mai scowled before snatching the glass from Joey's hand. "You don't deserve this after all."
"Hey, no take backs!" Joey tried to get the shot back but Mai was unrelenting. He ended up settling for his long forgotten beer, now lukewarm and flat. "Whatever."
Suddenly a man in a bowler hat barged in through the door with a pistol in his hand. "This is a hold up. Don't know nobody move!"
The burglar had a red handkerchief tied around his face, covering his mouth. His clothes were dusty. He's probably a traveler from a nearby town. Honestly, there are so many strange people and creatures entering this town lately, it's not surprising. The man kicked a table to the side to show his aggression. Some of the drunken patrons woken from their stupor temporarily before falling back to sleep. He made a grab for some pocket watches and wallets near him.
Joey watched the scene unfold. Oh no! Mai is just a dainty woman; she won't be able to handle this by herself. He needs to do something to help her. So he stood up with his arm out. "We don't want trouble, man."
The man watched Joey as he made his way closer to the cash register.
"Don't break any of my glasses," Mai warned as she locked eyes with the robber.
"You need you keep your priorities straight, Miss Valentine," commented the disgruntle blond. He eyed the gun nervously.
The bandit fired at a table full of empty beer mugs, causing Joey to jump. Glasses shattered and flew everywhere. People ducked and screamed. "I'm not kidding, little missy. This thing is loaded. Now hand over all your money." The man came even closer with the gun pointing at Mai.
Joey stood between them. "Look, dude. If it's money you want then fine but don't hurt anybody." He turned to Mai and whispered, "Just give him the money now and I'll hunt him down later."
Mai never broke eye contact with her assailant even as she shoved Joey out of the way and shot the man right in the face with a shotgun hidden behind the counter. "I'm not kidding either when I told you not to break my glasses!"
She sighed as she looked around her saloon at the mess he caused. "This will be a bitch to clean."
The blond boy was agape at the prowess of the woman in front of him. He gingerly pushed a cup back that was a little too close to the edge of the counter and nearly jumped again when she addressed him.
"You," she said, "Do you want to help me?"
She handed him a broom.
AN: Thank you for everyone still reading this! No guarantees for quick updates but I'll try to get chapter 6 out.
(6) Pegasus, being a rich person in 1918, has incandescent lightbulbs in his house as a main source of light but he is also very eccentric and likes to create an atmosphere when he plays his music so he has his maid (maybe Croquet) set his living room up with candles.
(7) The teddy bear was out in the market in 1902. There's an interesting story about Theodore Roosevelt inspiring its invention. Don't expect me to tell you it though.
(8) Las Vegas was founded in 1905 but didn't become a city till 1911… I think. In the manga/anime(?) Pegasus met Cecelia at Las Vegas apparently.