A small crash… A groan… A dull thump… A soft whimper…
Jack Hyde rose to his feet, shaking with adrenaline and rubbing his hands together while ignoring the dull, throbbing pain in his left buttock. He glanced around then paused; this wasn't the master bedroom, unless Mr and Mrs Grey slept in cots decorated with tiny glass butterflies and fairies. He reached up to the wall and grazed his hands over the wooden letters. He cursed, the plans he had concocted while rotting in jail had been for nothing; this was supposed to have been the room in which Mr and Mrs Grey slept, but it had clearly been converted into a nursery since he was smuggled the plans.
He bunched his fists and rubbed his temples. He scratched his scraggly beard and rubbed his bloodshot eyes. His planning, had it all been for nothing? A hiccup from the child below made him jerk his head down.
"Hello…" He murmured then reached down into the ornate cot below to pull away a finely embroidered blanket which revealed the most adorable baby he had ever seen, huddled under a butterfly blanket with the name 'Ella' sewn along the corner in gold thread. She glowed in the dim nightlight that shone from the corner, revealing another cot belonging to Phoebe, he presumed due to the wooden letters above her head.
His plan to brutally remove the married couple from history while they sleept soundly in some part of the estate escaped his head as he tenderly lifted the baby girl from her warm blankets. She was small, far too small to be healthy, and had a small tuft of blonde hair at the top of her angelically sculpted face. A smile tugged at his cracked lips and strange warmth spread from his heart as she squirmed in his arms and opened her cerulean blue eyes. She giggled, reaching up to grab his nose and any ice left in his heart melted instantly.
He began to settle her back into bed then paused and returned her close to his chest; he found he just couldn't bear to let her go. He grabbed her blanket and wrapped her up in it so she wouldn't freeze outside then dumped his rucksack on the floor in front of him; it was full of rope, weapons, revenge notes, pens, a rubber duck… In his opinion, they were essential elements to bring an end to Grey Industries and, most importantly, destroy the monster that had ruined him and his bitch wife. However, now all he wanted was the premature, fragile babe in front of him. He clutched her close to his chest as he tipped the contents of the rucksack onto the rug, he searched through drawers and cupboards for clothes, nappies, shoes and toys. With a satisfied grunt he tugged the drawstring and watched the soft material scrunch at the pressure then clipped the fabric lid over the top to prevent it falling out.
"Come on sweetheart, bed time." Jack froze as Christian's voice echoed from the other side of the door. He wouldn't be able to get out of the window in time, let alone run for the gate once Christian realized his little girl was missing. He shoved the ex-contents of his bag under Ella's cot, dropped her in as lightly as he could, and then dived into the cupboard just as the door opened. "Who left the window open?" He muttered angrily and Jack cursed under his breath at his stupidity.
Christian padded in barefoot and in a suit, carefully holding a bundle of blankets close to his chest. He paused briefly to kiss Ella's forehead then carefully tucked Phoebe into her cot on the opposite side of the room. He checked the nightlight and locked the window before closing the door and retreating to his own bed.
Tempted to follow him, Jack slid from the cupboard, exhaling slyly, then remembered that he always had up to a bazillion bodyguards with him, regardless of his whereabouts. He shrugged then plucked Ella from her crib and slid her into his jumper then used his belt to keep her from sliding away. He tugged at the window but it wouldn't budge. He sighed, ran a hand through his hair then spotted the key on the side, stole it and unlocked the window to slip out.
"Damn!" He muttered as he narrowly avoided the security light, Christian had obviously turned the alarm system on; that meant he probably couldn't climb over the gate again. He scaled down the wall, careful not to crush Ella then, once his feet touched the ground, he sprinted away from the lights. In the back of his head, he remembered a gap in the forest that he could probably slip through.
Anastasia glanced up with tearful eyes, "Well?" She demanded with a cracked voice. Taylor glanced at Christian who held his wife as though she was the only thing keeping him on the alive then shook his head.
"Sorry Ma'am." He croaked feebly, "Nothing but the weapons you found under her bed." Another sob escaped her lips and she nuzzled into Christian for support. He wasn't entirely sure how to handle this; be strong and careless thus being considered a dick…? Or be broken and vulnerable, showing the world that he shouldn't be able to run a company? He curled his arms around her and stroked her hair with a soft sigh, a storm brewing in his distraught grey eyes.
"Keep looking Taylor, and send an image to the authorities as well, maybe they could show that they're useful for once." His bottom lip trembled as he finished his order and he glanced at Mrs Taylor, "Call my mother." He managed to whimper then collapsed with his wife on the couch, unable to contain his sorrow for his missing daughter; the twin daughter Ana had surprised him with after seventeen hours of labor.
Jack scooped Ella up in his arms, "Lookie little princess, it's the sunrise." He grinned at her as he pointed at the pink horizon from inside the plane. She blinked at him with her sparkling eyes then reached out to him with stubby fingers, "Ella Hyde… It has a ring to it doesn't it?"
Aye, Ella Hyde had a nice ring to it. At least, it seemed so as she lived as Ella Hyde for 16 years...