Twenty years later, and Percy and Janet were finally making good on their childhood promise of wedded bliss. The road had not been easy; after Percy’s initial apprehension of Rushbrook, there had been a police inquiry and a much wider, complex network of spies had emerged, all out to get Percy. After multiple assassination attempts – respectively with a fob watch, a penny farthing and a rather well-endowed opera prima donna – Percy had been placed into protective custody in Canada. But after so many years, the allure of England had tempted him back, a wiser but more cynical, man. His fortune made, but his heart empty.
Janet meanwhile, had finished her schooling and was still pining for her lost love. After Hailbury, she had discovered why her family had been so keen to make a formal alliance with Percy’s, and without Percy there to make such a match, they were now destitute.
Being a courageous female, full of life and zest, Janet had packed her trunk and moved to London, hoping the city would offer more opportunities for her to support her family, or at least not burden them further. However upon her arrival, she had found that work of a respectable nature was hard to come by, and rarely paid London’s rather high rent. Now desperation had led to her to seek her income in rather more disreputable ways.
It was in her latest place of work – The Preening Pussycat – that she had met a rather familiar looking man that had made her heart race in a way that had not happened since a childhood afternoon overseen only by a beetle. As she had been gliding round her assigned pole, their eyes had met across the room and a fission of undeniable passion had passed between them. Made bold by her years and by the spark of destiny she felt, Janet approached the stranger.
Percy could not believe his luck, that this dark-eyed beauty seemed to have noticed him out of a room full of equally rich men. As he took in the swing of her hip that seemed so at odds with the hint of vulnerability in the curve of her cheek he was struck by the knowledge that she did not belong in such an establishment that would select such a cliché double entendre as its name. He wanted to hold her, to kiss her and never let her go.
He stood up when she came near, and as his hand caressed her face, the spark between them bust into a fiery inferno of passion. It was unclear who grabbed who, but wherever their bodies made contact they seemed to come alight.
“Come with me,” he breathed into her ear.
“I can’t,” she breathlessly replied, “I’m expected on the main stage for the next shift.”
He growled. “Hang your next shift, I have a double-bed that longs for you as much as I and a beetle farm to show off in the afterglow.”
Janet’s eyes widened in shocked recognition, for hidden behind the muscles, worldly cynicism and potential alcohol abuse she had initially not recognised the man for what he was. Her Percy, finally returned to her at last. Her bosom heaved and love once again blossomed in her breast.
“Are-are any of them called Freddie?” She murmured into his collarbone, her lips lightly brushing against his skin. His arms finally came around her and a rush of emotion seemed to unman him.
“Janet, Janet my sweet chestnut, can it possibly be you?”
Despite being told to get a room, they went one better, and soon found themselves back at Percy’s bachelor pad, though they did not quite make it to the aforesaid double bed. That night, the outside world could not encroach on their happiness, and when Percy’s throbbing member finally entered Janet’s love tunnel, it was as if they were one.
When they could finally bare to part from each other, they placed a notice of their engagement in the Evening Gazette, safe in the knowledge that criminals did not read such obscure and outdated newspapers, and were married within a month.