Vincent Phantomhive considered his greatest joy in life was his young son Ciel. Ciel's big, bright happy eyes always brought a smile to Vincent's face whenever he felt melancholy.
At the moment, spending a resolute period of solitude with his family, he felt at peace. He sat next to his wife on a couch in the main living room while Ciel made "choo-choo" noises playing with the prototype of a new train toy that Fantom Toys was preparing to put into production. It was but one of a handful of Vincent's companies situated around the world that produced an array of many profitable items. Vincent Phantomhive was a shrude businessman like his father before him.
Vincent always let his son play with new toys. It was like testing. If Ciel liked it, so will other kids. And Ciel enjoyed this train very much. It was not painted yet, but the wooden structure was fully built. Ciel moved it around the carpeted floor with joyous glee that it gave Vincent so much joy.
Leaning over, he stroked Ciel's dark hair. "Someday you will grow and inherit a powerful empire, son. I foresee you becoming a great leader among men."
The boy looked up at his father and Ciel smiled and nodded. Although Vincent doubted his son knew the true implications of his words, nodding for the sake of Vincent's soft spoken words and seeing him smile. Ciel was only five.
Vincent slowly rose from the couch, he then looked to his wife as if mentally sending her where he was headed. She seemed to understand and nodded back.
He headed through the Phantomhive mansion to his private office at the end of a long hallway, finding a silver platter with a single white envelope sitting in the centre of his desk in front of a large window that overlooked the thousands of acres of back property.
For a moment, Vincent merely stood and looked at the envelope with its royal wax seal. Tanaka, his butler, had obviously brought it. And Vincent knew from whom it was sent from. Her Royal Majesty, the Queen of England, for which the Phantomhive family resided in the countryside just outside Wales.
He sighed, not wanting to pick it up. But he was inclined. It was most likely another "mission" from the Queen, for which the Phantomhive's were her royal guard dog. Whatever insidiousness that must be done to preserve the sanctum and stability of England, this was the Phantomhive's appointment. And Vincent was not the first to undertake this role. His ancestors had been employed for generations before him and he would not recant on family tradition.
With a letterhead, he sliced open the top of the envelope and removed the letter. And immediately frowned. Indeed it was what he had feared. Another mission from the Queen. But it was a mission of exceptional intrigue, unlike any he had undertaken before. . .
His wife came to stand at the door to his office with Ciel at her side. His young son's excitement alerted him to their presence as Ciel ran to Vincent with arms open wide.
Vincent reached down and picked up Ciel in his arms, hugging him, forcing a smile so not to appear unnerved by the Queen's letter.
Vincent still had the letter in his arms, and Ciel said, "Another letter, Daddy? From the Queen?"
He gave his wife a momentary glance before looking back at Ciel, and smiled fondly at his son. "Yes, Ciel. Another letter from the Queen." It was such a common occurrence in the Phantomhive household.
Ciel frowned. "Does this mean you and Mommy will be going away for awhile?"
"I'm afraid so," Vincent said, disliking when his son frowned. Ciel was such a happy child. "But Tanaka will look after you until we return."
As if on cue, Tanaka appeared at the door. He was a thin, tall man, with silvery hair, in proper attire. The elderly butler bowed. "I will look after Ciel as if he were my own son, my lord," he said.
"I trust you will. I have always entrusted you with Ciel's well-being," Vincent replied. Tanaka came further into the room and Vincent handed his son off to the elderly and dapper gentleman.
"Come, young master," Tanaka said. "It is time to put young Earl's to bed."
The sun had nearly set as shadows danced like demons within the office, coalescing what little light was now left outside. Candlelight lit most of the room. As Tanaka lead Ciel out, Vincent turned to his wife and handed her the letter to read.
She read it, and looked shocked afterwards. Vincent understood her trepidation. But they were partners in his mission, as they were partners in all things. They discussed it and finalized their plans.
This would be their most difficult mission yet.
TO BE CONTINUED