Antonia rushed back to Judge Turpin's, trying to organize her jumbled thoughts. What had driven Mr. Todd to madness? Where his years of solitude finally catching up to him?
She turned onto the Judge's street, and saw a familiar figure standing in the lane. Anthony.
An object dropped out of the top window, and Anthony picked it up before retreating further down the street.
Victoria sped up, catching Anthony before he turned the corner.
"What are you doing, sir?" She asked, her eyes wide. She held no loyalty to the judge, but Johanna she cared a little for.
"I'm sorry ma..." Anthony trailed off, recognizing her.
"What are you doing with lady Johanna?" She tried, thrusting every ounce of seriousness into her voice.
"I-I'm afraid that I am not at liberty to tell you that, ma'am" He said, shoving his left hand deeper into his pocket.
"If you are here to liberate her, I may be of assistance" Victoria prompted, pulling Anthony's hand out of his pocket to reveal the house key on a ribbon.
Anthony pulled her close. "I may need you assistance. I'm going to take Johanna far away, and I plan to do so tonight"
Victoria nodded. "I will see what I can do, I will speak with Johanna and the Judge. Meet me in the back alley in one hour"
Anthony nodded and with that, they parted ways.
Victoria ran down the back alley and let herself in the kitchen door. The first person she needed to talk to was Johanna herself.
She ascended the stairs as quietly as possible, trying not alert anyone else of her presence. She made it all the way to Johanna's room, and knocked lightly.
Johanna opened the door, looking puzzled.
"May I come in milady? I have news for you" Johanna motioned for her to sit on a chair by the fire.
"I have just come from Anthony, he plans to take you away tonight" Johanna flushed and smiled.
"I am to help you escape, but I need a clever disguise to be with you" Victoria continued. Johanna thought for a second, then her face lit up.
"My personal maid has just left her post. We could implore Sir Turpin to allow you to take her place" Victoria nodded and replied "I will see him now, and tell him that you require his presence"
Victoria rushed downstairs with a clatter, only to meet Judge Turpin himself at the bottom of the stairs.
"Good Lord, woman. What is all this noise about?"
"it's Johanna, sir. She requests your presence" Judge Turpin ascended the stairs without another word. Victoria loitered at the bottom of the stairs until she heard the Judge's feet on the landing above.
Quickly, she busied herself with a dusting rag she found in the nearby closet.
"You are to move into Johanna's quarters and be her personal maid, pack your things immediately" The Judge's voice sounded from the bottom of the stairwell.
Victoria pretended to be surprised. "Oh, thank you sir, you won't regret it!" THe Judge ignored her.
Quickly, Victoria checked the clock. Time had sped by, it was already time to meet Anthony.
She ran out into the alley. Anthony was there, leaning against the wall. "What did you find out?" He asked as she approached.
"I'm Johanna's new maidservant, She knows you're here. All we have to do is wait until the Judge goes to the club tonight, then we can smuggle her out"
Anthony grinned in sheer happiness. "Thank you, my friend. How can I repay you?"
Victoria thought for a second. He was destined to be with Johanna, why not get the best last memory of him she could?
She stood up on her toes and pressed her soft lips to his for the second time. Anthony's startled hands rested on her hips as the kiss became more passionate.
After a few seconds, Victoria broke away and ran back into the house, leaving a slightly stupefied Anthony in her wake.
Little did they know that more than one set of jealous eyes had witnessed their little scene.