His eyes narrowed, the strong blue pinpricks standing out against the darkness of the night, the shadows that enveloped him and the others.
"Is that her?"
The small voice came from a small body, a boy who looked to be no more than nine years old with bright blond hair and angelic blue eyes. Despite his appearances, if you looked closely you could see the age and wisdom that lurked behind his eyes, you could tell by the way he stood that he was much older than he looked.
Though how old would be impossible to tell.
"Yes." He replied, his sharp blue eyes fading, replaced by a darker colour, dark green eyes scanned the streets where she walked in the darkness, unaware of the figures in the darkness, unaware of him as always. "That's her."
"Beautiful." A taller figure with dirty blond hair spoke up. The hair was pulled back from his face, revealing a cruel twisted smile. A black band kept the hair in a ponytail, though strands of it were tucked behind his ears. "Why we letting her just walk off?" His accent was hard to place, a strange mixture of Eastern European and Cockney London, he glanced sideways at the other two.
"Because." His eyes flashed forest green before settling once more into blue as he looked at the blond figure. "William, can you remember what it's like to be human?" Despite the fact that he was staring at the blond, it was clear he was talking to the boy.
"Can I remember a nine year span in a century?" The boy laughed. "No Poison. Of course not."
"No point asking you the same question, is there?" The blond turned his face away, focusing once more on the beautiful figure, on the red dress that clung to her thin frame.
"Shut up Marcus." He snapped, eyes still focused on the blond. "Don't touch her; I know what you're like. A bloody dog on heat."
"What can I say Poison," he growled "I see something I like and I take it."
Quick as a flash Poison's eyes were glowing red. He turned and slammed Marcus into a wall, pushing him up against it. Marcus laughed. "You dare! She's mine and you know the rules."
"Forty-eight hours Poison, two days. You can only claim her for forty-eight hours."
The smaller man let go, staggering back as his shoulders raised and at his sides his fists clenched. He glared at the blond, before turning and stalking off into the darkness, his shape disappearing into the night.
His pale, long fingers curled around the glass mug, his eyes gazed over the heads of the men crowded in the Public House to rest on the girl winding her way between chairs to serve the beer. He smiled to himself, a smile that gave away more than he would have liked. Finally, she arrived at his table.
"'Nother beer sir?" She asked, balancing the tray with one hand as she smiled her pretty, tired smile at him.
"Sure." He nodded, smiling back up at her as she placed a mug on the table. He finished his other one, before she swiped it up and added it to the growing number piling up on the trays.
A flash of green eyes in the dark opposite the pub. He knew she was in there, knew it was where she worked. He also knew there was a certain someone in there who meant her ill, who wished her harm delivered at his own hand. And he would stop it.
He'd been tracking her for weeks, for months now. She was beautiful, but it was a beauty that went unnoticed here, a beauty that could only be used for two things; selling beer and selling herself.
"You're not going to change her, are you Poison?"
The small voice made him look over his shoulder, his eyes flicking down until he saw William.
"No, of course not."
"What are you going to do then?"
"I'm going to save her William."
"How?" He folds his arms, an eyebrow raised as he stares up at Poison. "She doesn't know you Poison."
"She will. I'll make sure she hears me William." He says it with so much conviction that the boy believes him, for the briefest of seconds.
The red stands out against the dark browns of the buildings as she steps out, waving goodbye to the other girls. The customers had left a few hours ago, but they'd been cleaning up since then before having a drink of their own. Something they shouldn't do, really, but they felt, now and then, that they needed it. Especially now, with friends disappearing, bodies piling up, the name 'Ripper' whispered on scared lips.
The streets of London were not safe, never had been and never would be, which was why she paid no heed to the insistence of the other girls to see her home.
She had only turned a corner when she heard it, light footsteps behind her. She walked quicker, instinct making her bow her head.
She kept walking, only stopping when she heard a muffled cry and a thud. She froze, before turning around.
There was no one there.
Nothing, except the dark shadows.
An over-active imagination, that was it, that was all. Why would the Ripper be after her anyway? As the girls in the bar had discussed, so far he had killed only prostitutes. True, they were friends of Ruby and the girls, but none of them sold their bodies for sex.
No, they used their bodies to sell beer but that was a completely different...
She didn't question the voice, didn't see where it came from, but blindly she followed it's instructions, taking off at a quick pace, her feet pounding the pavement beneath her, her breath heavy in her ears.
She had no idea if the speaker had been her saviour or something else; either way she didn't care.
Ruby did not stop running until she had slammed open the door to her home and pushed it shut behind her, her heart beating wildly in her chest as she fell to the floor, hands gripping her head and strands of her strawberry blonde hair.
"Poor, poor Ruby; scared, were you?"
She gasped, the voice – a strange accent, London mixed with European – had startled her and now as she looked up the hairs on the back of her neck rose. A figure stepped forward, long blond hair tied back and his face twisted in a cruel smile.
"Don't be scared darling, I'm going to end your pain."
She couldn't even scream as he bent down in front of her and reached forward.