It had just started snowing in New York City as Cassandra reached her door step.Cassandra lived in a neighborhood surrounded by mansions. Her house was the only minuscule house in the neighborhood. Inside the house was warm.Cassandra hated winter.She preferred being warm.Mostly because she did not like the way she looked in a winter coat. When ever she entered the house, memories of her mother came to her. The smell of freshly baked bread and the sound of her mom singing as she cooked. A few years had passed since her mother had left. Cassandra missed her mom but as much as she missed her she hated her. Her mother had left because her father had lost his business and had been evicted from their house. All Cassandra could think of as the years went by was how could her mother leave her just because they weren't as wealthy. Did she not care about her father at all. Was it always about the money.
“Cassandra, Cassandra is that you?.” Her father’s voice brought her back to reality.
“Yes father, its me.” Cassandra replied. Cassandra's father had been distant towards her since the day her mother left. She did not blame him for it, but sometimes she wished he went back to being the man he was when her mother was still around.
“Are you ready for dinner?”
“Yes, I just need to get my coat.”
Her father returned from the drawing room with coat on and ready to go out the door. As they went into another one of their silent walks to dinner she recollected more memories.
Since her father’s business no longer existed he did some financial work for one of his friends companies.He did not make much, but it was enough to support them both.Cassandra remembered the days when she lived in one of the big houses around the neighborhood. Her house had been taken by the bank when her father went bankrupt. The house was now owned by the Malecs’. The Malecs’ were her father’s friends, and on some nights they invited Cassandra and her father for dinner. Going to the Malecs’ house always brought her good and bad memories; usually bad. This house, this life they no longer had, was the life her mother could not live without. It had been the reason she had left. And tonight was a night where she would have to re-live this memories.They had once again been invited for dinner at the Malecs’ house.
Cassandra was glad they had reached the Malecs’ doorstep. They had been walking for the longest time that she could no longer feel her face. Her father had knocked the door and Cassandra could hear footsteps approaching the door.
“Mr. Clace, Mrs.Clace, please come in, they are all waiting for you in the dining room” said Hayley, The Malecs’ house maid. She took Cassandra's coat and her father’s, set them on a hanger and led them to the dining room. As they entered the room the Malecs’ were already sitting and waiting for them. Cassandra sat across from James, the Malecs’ 19 year old son. He was only a year older than her. She always found James to be a handsome man, but he barely ever spoke to her. Next to her was Evelin, James’s mother. At the head of the table was Robert, James’s father; and her father sat next to James. After they all sat down they greeted each other, and waited for the servants to bring up the food. As the food was being placed before them, her father and Robert began to speak about money, and things she did not pay attention to because they weren't of her interest. She began to speak to Evelin who had always been kind to her. In a way Evelin was her only mother figure.
“Is that a new dress?” said Cassandra.
“Yes, it is, I've had it for a long time, but I forgot I had it till tonight when I was getting dressed and Evelin found it at the back of the closet”. Evelin was wearing a gray dress that cinched at the waist. it really did make her look beautiful.
“Well it’s very pretty, it makes your eyes stand out. I wish i had blue eyes.”
“Well, thank you that’s very kind of you.”
While Cassandra was eating she could feel someone staring at her and she knew who it was. It was James. She had never spoken to James, besides saying hello and goodbye every time they encountered each other.
After dinner Cassandra realized, James was still staring at her.She decided to look up, and for a moment, She and James locked eyes. As they stared at each other, Cassandra could see hatred in his eyes. She did not understand why he could possible be looking at her like that. After what felt like and hour of staring at each other, James looked away ;and did not look at her until her father had told her it was time to go.
As she began to stand up, James stood up too and started to approach her side of the table. She did not understand why he would possibly be coming this way. It was obvious he did not like her; why would he want to talk to her. And as he reached her side, he spoke for the first time in a long time.Everyone went silent. Cassandra did nothing, but stand and stare.
“Cassandra, before you leave, I have a question I need to ask you.” Andrew said with urgency.
“Yes, what is it?” Cassandra was nervous too, but she refused to show it. She replied as if she were speaking to a stranger. And as she replied,James began to kneel, as if he was about to ask for her hand. But that could not be possible. He is probably tying his shoe. “He cant possible be asking me to marry him. This is the longest conversation I've ever had with him;since the time we have known each other.”James began to speak again.
“Cassandra I know, that we do not know each other very well, but that does not matter because we can get to know each other-”
“What are you doing?” said Cassandra with desperation in her voice. And just like that he blurted it out.
“Would you marry me Cassandra Clace?”
And all she could do was stare at him in horror.
Cassandra began to recover from horror and shock when she remembered that she had not answered his question. And everyone in the room was staring at her including Hayley, waiting for her to give James an answer.
Cassandra found herself being interrupted by the man sitting next to James her father, and she became aware of the fact that he knew she was about to say no. Instead he took matter into his own hands.
“Yes, of course she will marry you!,”Cassandras father said “wont you Cass?”.
Cassandra still in shock just nodded, not processing what was going on. She felt James hand touch her hand as he slipped the ring into her finger . Cassandra could not believe she was engaged to James.He was a handsome young man but she did not know him at all, all she could think of through out the evening until she got home was the fact that she was engaged and she did not know how it was possible.
As the months passed Cassandra got to know James.The new year had come and the wedding date approached.She kept on remembering the day she got engaged as soon as she had return to the house she wanted to break off the engagement, but her father did not allow her.He had told her if she did not marry him, she was no longer welcome in his house.Cassandra had to agree.Her thoughts were interrupted as the Malecs’ carriage approached her house and James stepped out of the carriage to help her inside.At this time of the year it was no longer cold but Cassandra still felt a shiver going up her spine as James held her hand to help her get inside the carriage.Cassandra had a bad feeling about James he moment they were having one of their many night carriage rides to get to “know each other”.James made a stop in an alley. He did not notice but Cassandra was looking out the window; when she saw James talking to and old man. Who held a small bottle, with a substance; that from afar looked like water. But in her mind Cassandra knew it was not water, but poison. James took it and walked back to the carriage where Cassandra sat inside looking at him as she had not seen anything that had just happened. Today was another one of their “get to know each other” carriage rides. Cassandra was sitting in the carriage,and across from her James was staring at her. There was no love in his eyes, There was hate. And she did not understand why. Whenever she tried to speak to him, he just answered her in short sentences ,or chose to ignore her. Cassandra’s father was not aware of her unhappiness with James, and she did not tell him; because she knew if she did not marry James she would have nowhere to go. It was in times like these that Cassandra missed her mother.
This carriage ride was no different than the others it was quite and distant, and all Cassandra could think off was getting of the carriage, having dinner ,and returning home.
All of the sudden the carriage came to stop that caught James by surprise. For the first time since she had known him, she saw a different emotion in his eyes that was not anger, but surprise.
Before stepping out of the carriage James turned his back on the door to look at Cassandra and as he did, he said “Don’t move.” And left. After a few minutes of waiting, Cassandra heard a scream. But it was not just any scream, it was James screaming in pain. As if something or someone had caught him by surprise. Cassandra began to stand to get off the carriage. But before she could reach the door, the carriage began moving. And James was nowhere to be seen.
Casssandra had a moment of pure fear, but as the carriage continued to move she could only only wonder what was going on; and why the carriage was moving so fast. She felt safer during this moment of loneliness than when she was with James. The carriage came to a sudden stop and the door opened. At the door was standing a tall young man with beautiful blue eyes and red hair. They stared at each other for what felt like hours. They broke eye contact the moment he held his hand out to Cassandra, and surprising him and herself, she took his hand confidently as he helped her out of the carriage. Cassandra had been walking for what seemed like hours in the streets of New York City. The misterious young man that had just kidnapped her, led her around many streets until they reached a cheap hotel.The young man asked for a room and the man at the front desk looked over at her with a look of worry in his eyes. She looked at him and with an expression saying “i am alright”. The man asked for the boys name.
“Excuse me sir, what is your name?”
“Andrew,” said the boy.
And just like that the man handed him the key to room 15.
Andew opened the door to room 15.As every gentelman would he let Cassandra in the room first, and than proceded to close the door behind him.Andrew had never felt this nerveous in his life. After all, he had never kidnaped someone, specially a girl.He remembered the first time his father had asked him if he was willing to kidnapp someone, in order to earn money. At first he assumed his father was going mad, but later on he lernt it was true. A man was offering Andrew a generous amount of money if he agreed to kidnap his daughter. Andrew was in no possition to denying this job, so he agreed. Now here he was in a room with the girl he had just kidnapped,and instead of regreting what he had just done, all he could wonder was why the girl was not screaming; after all he had just kidnapped her.
When he agreed to the job, the clients request was that after he had kidnapped her and knew he was safe from being followed, he would have to explain to the girl why he had done it.After all who wouldnt asked why they were kidnapped. There he was, standing; now was the time to inform her on the situation.
Cassandra was not scared, all she wanted to know was why this handsome guy, named Adrew had kidnapped her. She did not have to wait long to find out.Right when she was about to start asking questions ,Andrew began started speaking.
“I know you have many questions, and i will answer them,” said Andrew “I just need you to give me a few minutes. Dont worry I am not going to harm you.”
“Okay, I will listen.”
“Will you please take a sit.” Andrew pointed at the chair next to the small table in the room.
Cassandra walked to the table and sat. Andrew followed her and sat across from her.
“I did not take you because I want to do any harm to you, I took you because your father asked me too.”
“My father?, what does my father have to do with this?.”
“He came to me a few day ago, offering to pay me if i abducted you. trust me I did not understand why, but the first thing he told me was that the biggest mistake he ever commited was agreeing to your marriage with James. He said he is a dangerous man, and the only reason he agreed to the engagment was because he owed money to the Malecs.”
Cassandra felt rage bulding inside her, how could her father consider paying her debts with the Malecs by giving her to James. That was wrong and she did not know how she would ever forgive him.
“Why kidnapp me? how is that going to help my father? or me?”
“He could not cancel the engagement, but he could take you away from them, somewhere were you could never be found. You would not have to live a life of unhappiness; all because of the mistakes he had commited.”
“And were would I go exactly? its not like I have any family members I can stay with. and I do not have any money.”
“He told me we should stay here for a few months until he gets the money, and than you can go to any destination of your liking.”
“If I agree to this, I will not have to marry James or ever have to see the Malecs again?”
“Yes, that is if you aprove of this plan.”
“Than yes I agree, but just so you know,I will be sleeping on the bed, you can take the floor.”
For a moment Cassandra saw Andrew smile, and from that moment on she knew she could trust him; and that Andrew would protect her until the moment came. And she could finally leave this life she so badly wanted to scape.
April 19, 1825
As the months passed Cassandra go to know Andrew. She began to develop feelings for him; feelings she never had for James. Unlike James, Andrew was kind and he always spoke to her with kindness. She could not recall a time where he was ever mad. He always had something ineteresting to tell her. She lernt to apreciate things more; because of the stories he told her. About him and his father. The way they lived, and how he did not need much to live.The only thing that took this day from being just another normal day ,was the moment the owner nocked on the door of her room ,and told her that a man named James was downstairs; and was asking if he had seen a girl with her apperance.
Suddenly she felt Andrews hand reach her hand.
“I do not believe the man downstairs is asking for my sister,” said Andrew.
Because they had spent so much time at the hotel, Andrew and Cassandra had decided that in order to not atract attention to themsevlves they would say they were brother and sister. Like that people would not stare, and wonder why they spent so much time inside the room.
“After all we are only new in town,” Added Cassandra.
“Very well, if you say so, I am sorry if i caussed you any trouble.”
And just like that he left. Andrew closed the door. And in a rush of desperation he told Cassandra they needed to leave. It was no longer safe. He would inform her father they were leaving, as soon as she was ready to go.
Moments after the owner had left and Cassandra started packing, someone nocked on the door. Andrew told her to be silent as he looked throught the peephole.
Andrew turned around with fear in his eyes.
“He found us,” Whispered Andrew.
“What are we going to do?”
A moment of silent passed between them, before Andrew began speaking again.
“I will sneek out the window, and figure out how to get you back. You should go with him and tell him that you had been kindnaped all this time.Do not worry I will come back for you, but this time we will go far from here.”
Before Cassandra could answer, Andrew moved from the door kissed her on the cheeck, headed to the window ,and disapeared. Cassandra was alone and had begun to reach for the door; were James the man she hated, was standing on the other side.
Cassandra opened the door ,and there he was, James. Staring at her wide eyed. He did not hug her ,instead he took her by the rists and started dragging her downstairs; and into the carriage. Once inside the carriage he kept on asking her questions about who had kidnapped her. But the only thing she said was that she never really saw his face, and that he had been gone for a few days; and she did not now know were he had gone.The carriage was now reaching the Malecs residence when all of the sudden, it stopped in the middle of the road.
This time James instead of leaving Cassandra inside the carriage he dragged her down with him. He did not want to leave her inside.In case she got kidnapped again.As they walked to the front of the carriage to see what had stopped them.Someone jumped off the drivers seat and tackeled James to the floor.The attacker struck James on the head ,to stop him from fighting back.James attacker turned around to look at Cassandra ,and as he turned around ,Cassandra had already guessed who it was. He after all had promissed his return.
Andrew stood up and embrassed her, and after a moment he told Cassandra they needed to leave that night; before James regained consiousness ,and started looking for her again.
“But what about my father?, we do not have money Andrew!”
“I went to see him as soon as I left you. I told him about the situation ,and he gave me this.”
From his coat pocket he took out and envelope, and inside there was money. The money they needed to leave this life. The life she hated.
Andrew and Cassandra took the Malecs’ carriage once again and fled to another small hotel. Were they could stay the night.
Through out the night Cassandra could not sleep. She could not stop thinking about James, and the possibility that he might find them again. Cassandra came to the conclusion that he must be stopped, once and for all.
She silently tiptoed around the room, got dressed and snuck out. Cassandra needeed to take matters into her own hands, and end James life.
She remembered that one carriage ride, when James had gotten off to buy a suspisious liquid; which she now knew was poision. Andrew had told her that James was a murderer ,and that he usually used poision to end his victims lives.
Cassandra decided to walk to the alley were James had bought the poison, and once she reached the alley the old man aproached her ,and asked her what it was she required.
“I would like to purchase poison.”
“Why would a girl like you need to buy a subatance of that kind?.”
“I need it to defend myself, and that is all.”
The man did not ask her any more questions. He gave her one last look, took her money, and gave her the liquid.
On her walk to the alley Cassandra had developed a plan on how to get rid of James. She had decided to enter the Malecs residence dressed as a servant,gain access to the kitchen ,and poisen James’s food.Cassandra had nothing to loose. After all, she either married James ,or could get cought in the action of attempting a murder. But all she cared about was being with Andrew ,and she knew as long as James was still alive she could not have a life with the man she actually loved; Andrew.
Days had passed since James had been poisened by Charles Clace in his residence. Where he had been found dead at the dinner table. At least thats what the news paper that Andrew kept re-reading said.Cassandra had not expected her plan to go wrong,after all she had not given much thought to the plan.
Cassandras father had been blamed for James death. The Malecs’ used him as an scapegoat. Using the fact that he owed them money as a reason for wanting to murder their son. The Malecs’ told the news papers that Mr.Clace had thretened them; by telling them if they did not stop asking him to pay back what he owed, he would kill James.But Cassandra knew it was all a lie. She had not told Andrew what she had done. She just pretended as if all of this was new to he,r and she did not know anything but what she had read on the newspapers.
The news paper included the information on her fathers punishment.The part of the article she would never forget.The reason why she could not sleep at night.
Mr.Clace has been sentenced to death, and this veredict will and can not be chnaged. His executation has been set for May 1,1825. No family members are able to defend Mr.Clace case, since his only family memeber diapeared months ago. No clues have been found on the disapearance of his daughter Cassandra Clace.