Cherry tossed and turned in the bed. Forte was sleeping soundly, taking deep exhales. Cherry then kicked him to wake him up.
"Cerise?" Forte mumbled and sat up, brushing his right eye. He then looked at the clock on the night stand next to his wife. "Cerise, it's 3:30 in the morning..."
"I know," Cherry replied in an emotionless tone. "Something's wrong. I can feel it."
"You probably just had a nightmare," Forte held her close.
Cherry slapped his withering, ice temperatured hands off from her shoulders. "No Charles, I sense something is wrong with Felicity." she explained.
"Let's check on her," Forte said with a yawn and followed Cherry out to the couch. To his surprise, he saw Bianca and Ken awake as well. "Kenneth, Bianca..."
"Is your daughter sleeping with you?" Bianca asked.
"We wanted to check on her." Ken added.
"No, she's not with us, why do you ask?" Cherry asked.
Bianca bit her lip nervously in front of her friend. She then walked over and showed the empty couch with the blankets pulled back. The doll was gone too!
"Fliss..." Forte mumbled. "Where could she be?"
"We checked everywhere," Ken replied. "We just thought she'd be with you, but where else could she be?"
"I don't know..." Cherry mumbled, then looked down. She then got on her knees and glanced inside the mouse-hole to see the winter wonderland Felicity and Ludwig had escaped to. Once Cherry saw the sights, she remembered immediately visiting an old family friend, Clara Drosselmayer. Cherry and Clara were shrunken small by the Mouse King and went with the Nutcracker Prince to look for the Sugarplum Princess to return to normal. Cherry then shut her eyes and shook her head. "Felicity and Ludwig are in there..."
"Are you positive, Cerise?" Forte asked, helping her up on her feet.
"Trust me, I know." Cherry replied, taking his hands.
"But how can we get in there?" Ken asked. "We're too big."
"Don't worry, I know magic." Bianca answered for them.
"You do?" Forte asked.
"Bianca has magic powers," Cherry replied. "She uses them against enemies and she allows her friends to share. I know a little magic too since my mother's mother was a witch. My mother was half witch from her, and I'm a quarter, not to mention I now have immortal vampire powers from you, Charles."
"What can you do, Ken?" Forte turned to Bianca's husband.
"I can hypnotize people." Ken stated with a smirk.
"I'm sure you have powers too, Maestro?" Bianca asked.
Forte nodded with a smile. "Indeed I do, like Cerise mentioned, I have vampire powers. Also, after I bit her, we have a deal encoded in our blood that says, Cerise will not die unless I die myself. Since we're both immortal, we can die only by murder, and not by nature or old age. Only, if I get murdered..." Forte turned to Cherry, looking her deep in the eyes. "Cerise will die with me..."
"What if I got murdered?" Cherry asked.
"I don't know honestly," Forte sharply sighed, then turned to Ken and Bianca. "Shall we get going?"
"We should," Bianca nodded. "I'll get my book." she then walked out to get her magic book to help the others.
Cherry put on her black jacket to keep warm as Forte dawned his court composer tail coat. They both bundled up and Forte reached his arm around Cherry and pulled her close to his side. He looked down at her with a smile and bounced her hair.
"Charles, our daughter is lost in a mysterious world with mysterious beings, this is no time for coddling." Cherry said, firmly.
"Désolé." Forte apologized.
Ken put his hands in his pockets and glanced at the couple. He noticed how young and refreshed Cherry looked and how old, ancient and historical looking Forte looked. "Umm... So, how do you two know each other?" Ken asked, sheepishly.
"I've known Cerise for many years," Forte said as he brushed some of Cherry's hair behind her ear. "She was once my music student, now she is my bride... The mother of my children..."
"Til death do us part." Cherry added, sounding like she'd rather be dead than married to Forte.
"How DO you know each other?" Ken added.
"It all started in-" Cherry started, but Forte covered her mouth.
"I just gave her music lessons when she was a child, then I fondly fell in love with her once she hit puberty." Forte answered for her.
"Oh, okay, I better check on Bianca." Ken wandered out.
Forte withdrew his hand and glared at Cherry. "You know how much I hate talking about the past, Cerise." he hissed.
"Oh, come along, it was merely child's play." Cherry insisted.
"And how would you have killed that dreaded girl, Belle?" Forte crossed his arms, staring down at her.
"In her sleep," Cherry smirked as she took out her machete from her jacket pocket. "I'd hold it against her throat while she was sleeping soundly, dreaming of the spell being broken to turn Adam and everyone else human again... Then she'd wake up in her own grave while I feast upon the delicious necter crimson liquid leftover from the cold, iron blade while I live peacefully for the rest of my life while she rots in the fiery pit for all eternity."
Forte shuddered, then turned lustful. "Oh, my, you have grown up into an enchanting creature..." he gulped heavily, and blushed, scattering his hands together, anxiously, wanting to devour her.
"You better buy me dinner first." Cherry winked.
"You guys ready?" Bianca called as she came in with Ken, holding the book.
"We're ready." Cherry shoved Forte down and walked toward Ken and Bianca.
Forte piped, then fell hard on the floor. He grumbled as he got himself up and dusted himself clean, going with them. Bianca opened the shrinking spell in the book and rehearsed it as magic glows and elements warped around them. The men looked a little scattered. Forte was the most shocked though, of them all. He let out screams of terror as they shrunk.
"Oh, shut up..." Cherry spat at him as they shrunk in size. "Everything in order then?"
"Yeah," Bianca confirmed, then pointed to the mouse-hole. "Let's go."
"Who will look after your children?" Forte asked.
"Messager-1 can," Ken replied. "She's one of the older ones after all."
"I can't help but notice she doesn't really look like you or Kenneth, Madame Bianca." Forte said as they followed Cherry to inside the mouse-hole.
"She was adopted." Bianca told him.
Cherry led the way since she had actually experienced this before. Forte was deeply worried for her, but it annoyed her when he'd flip out over the littlest things concerning her safety. Another thing he didn't know about his bride was that she was a poet by day when he'd work on music and they both homeschooled their daughter, but by night, she was a hit woman. Cherry's shoes crunched the snow and she turned to them to let them know they were now in Parthenia.
"We're here," Cherry stated. "Let's go get Forte's daughter."
"Your daughter too." Forte growled at her.
"YOU put her there." Cherry replied.
"YOU carried her for nine months," Forte said then smirked as Cherry glanced at him.
Cherry was silent for a moment to come up with a comeback. Since she couldn't she just snarled. "Oh, shut up..." she then led the way to follow the foot prints already marked by Ludwig and Felicity.
As they passed the snow-covered trees, there was a familiar bat hanging upside down in one. He opened his wings and looked to see Cherry with the others. It was Pimm, the Mouse King's faithful, always hungry, bat servant.
"Oh, it's her! Wait til the Mouse King hears about this!" Pimm laughed, then flew off to the Mouse Kingdom without the others noticing.