Silence fell upon Birch manor. Lord Malcolm and Margaret had retired for the night. There was nothing left for the twins or their parents to do. Sebastian and Louisa had disappeared to their room, and Raven had retired soon after. Lilith, however, was restless; thoughts of William had filled her mind since their first encounter, and those thoughts had become even more intrusive since they had come to London.
She made her way to the roof to enjoy the silence that the night offered and let her mind wander back to the moment he had removed the defrosting flesh from her shoulder. It was only the slightest touch of his fingers on her skin, but the feelings it sent through her were new, and she had craved his touch ever since. Even the brush of his lips through her glove when he kissed her hand was enough to send shivers down her spine. He was so far removed from the cold, unfeeling reapers that her mother had told her about as a child.
As she sat on the roof, lost in thought, she saw movement on the balcony outside her parent's room. She slid forward without a sound, taking her knife from her boot, ready to deal with the unwanted visitor. The balcony came into sight and on it stood a tall slim figure, its attention focused intently on what was happening in her parent's room. Lilith smiled, "Do you make a point of spying on my parents at night, William?"
William jumped, he had been so taken aback by what he saw that he had not heard Lilith approaching, "I heard a cry, I was just checking that nothing was amiss." He looked at Lilith, his usually pale face flushed, "I didn't realise it was their room until…" he felt his gazing being drawn back to the sight within the room until he heard Lilith laughing.
"I can assure you, whatever you think, my mother is more than fine. Now, why don't you come away before you see something that haunts you forever."
William leapt from the balcony and landed effortlessly next to Lilith on the roof. She tapped the space next to her, and William sat down.
“You must have seen worse in your line of work?”
"I'm not quite sure I have ever seen anything like that before," he said, taking off and cleaning his glasses. "We generally don't appear until an individual is taking their last breath, it helps to keep our minds clear and to act only on what is in their records."
“But you had a life, before this one, I mean, you must have, you know.”
William’s face flushed a darker shade of red as he continued to clean his already spotless glasses. “I, I, never, it was not something, I.”
Lilith leant in and kissed his cheek, "Then we have something in common at least."
William turned to face her, brushing a loose strand of hair that had fallen across Lilith's face; he stroked her cheek. Lilith could feel the heat from his face as he moved closer to her. He shook as his lips met hers. Conflicting feelings swept through him as her arms wrapped around him and she returned the kiss. At that moment, all thoughts of the rules left his mind as he found himself lost in the softness and sweetness of her lips.
A gentle thud on the roof behind them distracted the young lovers. They broke apart and turned to find Sebastian standing behind them. He stood cross-armed with his brow furrowed.
“Lilith, you should not be out here alone at night, you could be seen by anyone.” His eyes bore into William as he spoke.
William lowered his gaze, unable to look at Sebastian as he spoke. Lilith laughed, causing her father to shift his attention to her. “Father, I am safe enough, you just proved that, although it would be easier to take you seriously if you were dressed.”
Sebastian looked down at his form, only then realising that in his rush to check on the threat he had perceived, he hadn’t even materialised his trousers. He smirked seeing how uncomfortable William was. “If you insist on seeing the reaper, then he can call on you properly as any suitor would.”
Lilith opened her mouth to protest, wanting to remind her father that he hadn’t exactly followed courting etiquette with her mother, but the words wouldn’t form, it was difficult to argue with her father while he stood there in that state. Regaining his composure, William replaced his glasses and kissed Lilith’s hand.
“As much as it pains me to agree with him, your father is right, and I have no wish to add to your family’s concerns at the moment.”
He stood, not looking at Sebastian until he was sure he would meet only his gaze. “Sir, I would very much like to call on your daughter tomorrow, once her workday is complete.”
Sebastian nodded and motioned for Lilith to return to the house. Reluctantly she left, knowing that it would not take much for her father to change his mind and refuse the request. Once she was safely out of earshot, Sebastian turned his full attention to William.
“I owe you a debt of gratitude for watching over my family and for your actions with Peter. However, if you attempt to apply anything you saw tonight to my daughter, I will turn you inside out before I kill you, do I make myself clear?”
William shook at the very thought, nodded his understanding, and leapt from the roof. He couldn’t understand how two bodies could even achieve such feats, let alone comprehend how they gained any pleasure from it, yet the feelings that coursed through him when he considered what he had seen. The way they moved together in unison, the looks that passed between them. There was a part of him that would risk everything to have Lilith look at him the way Louisa looked at Sebastian.