"I dare say! Unhand me you ruffian!" screeched Hetta Carbury, slapping at the groping hand of the tall man, "I say stop it!"

The man laughed and tilted his head slightly for her to see. She gasped and immediately frowned, angered now. She grabbed the recognizable man by the neck of his shirt and pulled him into the nearest room, glad to have escaped the choking smoke.

"Felix!" she snapped, hitting him on the chest, "You scared me half to death, you lout!"

Felix grinned and ran a hand through his soft, brown hair. He tugged at the bottom of his shirt, attempting to fix the ruffled article of clothing. He sighed and glared at his younger sister, "Hetta! You need not affront me so…have some sense of risibility will you?"

Hetta scoffed and shook her head, "I have no time to cavil, Felix, Mother needs you home now. It is a matter of importance."

"Peevish, are we not?" joked Felix, his blue eyes twinkling in the dimly lit room.

Hetta gave him a frustrated scowl before he rolled his eyes and continued, "Pray tell, what does Mother need?"

"She is feeling quite at unease since she received this early morn," Hetta produced an open envelope and handed it off to her sibling quickly. Felix snatched it up, sending her a perplexed look before looking down at the object in his hands.

"Do you know who it is from?" he asked, extracting the letter and holding it in his hands carefully. Hetta shook her head.

"It has arrived on our stoop mysteriously; no owner has stepped forward and claimed it as his own."

Felix's blue orbs scanned over the paper, his pink lips pursed as his dark eyebrows connected in the middle. As he reached the end his head shot up, "I do not blame the owner of this… this thing for not stepping forward! The audacity of such a liar! It is quite upsetting indeed! We must go at once to tend to Mother."

Hetta studied Felix carefully; sure he was just mocking her. Felix cocked his head to the side as he caught her staring, "Do you not believe my sentiments towards this article, Hetta?"

Hetta pursed her lips and raised her chin, "I do not, Felix. You are known to fritter money about quite often, so why should I not believe this writer?"

Felix feigned his pondering of the question before he snapped, "I, for one, am your elder brother. And, this man has not stepped forward to accuse me publicly because he knows it is not true, what this letter," Felix waved the letter in the air, "Contains."

Hetta shrugged before motioning at the door, the noise and music thundering on the other side of the thin material. "Then explain to me what you are doing in such a place as this, dressed up like some ruffian ready to start a drunken brawl."

Felix raised his head and thrust his chin out in a defiant manner, "I have come to pay my respects to a dearest friend, and thought I may have a lesser chance of being mugged once again by blending in with the crowd."

Hetta nodded slowly, a knowing smile on her face. "Whatever you say, dear brother. Shall we go and see to Mother now?"

Felix opened his mouth as if to argue, but opted to quickly bob his head up and down. He stepped forward swiftly, his tall frame towering over the petite form of Hetta as he opened the door. Smoke and the smell of alcohol and dirt wafted in immediately, nearly suffocating Hetta as she stepped through.

Felix led her through the crowded room, walking as though the smell didn't bother him in the least bit. Hetta scurried after his striding form, nearly falling on her face as men jostled about her carelessly.

Once outside, nearly enveloped by shadows in the night, she took a deep breath of slightly cleaner air. Felix, having walked ahead some, turned back somewhat and shouted, "Come now, Hetta! I ain't sure Mother would be too happy if her dearest daughter is late in seeing after her!"

Hetta muttered under her breath as she hiked up her dress and trotted after her brother.


End.