Charlotte busied herself with thoughts of what would help ignite this ghastly situation and bring about the chaos that she was hoping would bring a tide of change. Fostering a more healthy environment for murder was most useful for the moment. Oh such an ugly term was that! Clearly this distasteful setting was bringing out the brute nature in Charlotte. After all, when had a lady such as herself been engaged in something as vile as murder? Perish the thought!

Liberation, she mused. Why yes, that was appropriate wasn’t it? A positively glowing term to describe of her necessary and dreadful work ahead. It was so much more inviting to think of it this way. So much more intellectual. Oh there was some messy business when it came to the act of liberation but in the end, the result was all that truly mattered. And given the ground work that she’d already been laying for this most noble deed, she would say that things were progressing swimmingly.

The young girl who had been tending to her had a spark in her eyes now. She was young and there was still some small doubts and difficulties to work around but there was something of a promise in those eyes that Charlotte had come to admire. She had more or less come into her own when it came to avoiding certain situations and she was becoming quite adept at thievery as well. It was almost never for herself yet but there was time still to engage her greed. She was, after all, just learning still. And how bright a student she was becoming. She had even come to trust Charlotte enough to reveal her most cherished secret: her name. Oh she was no fool either. She knew the risk of going from a broken nobody to a special girl in Master Kent’s eyes. One betrayal could mean a slow but truly agonizing death under his cruel intentions. Thankfully for her, Charlotte would sooner see the house go down in flames with her in it still than concede to his pleasure. No, she would not see this girl fall to a man like that. Why, she might even consider the otherwise unthinkable. She could see herself actually befriending the poor child!

She was darling, after all, this young girl who called herself Juliette. Pretty but not a vixen. Well, not yet. Oh but there could be fire behind those eyes yet. That spark, that beautiful flicker that she’d seen already, could build yet to a roaring flame that could not be put out by the likes of a vile, pathetic brute like Kent. Ah but what to think of that? Would she really become that thirsty for blood so quickly? And what of Charlotte fostering such a student? Was she truly building a competitor in this darling girl to make this dreadful little place more interesting? Well perhaps that was asking a bit much. She was, after all, just a novice in the art of making her way in the world. True, her thieving skills were quite impressive already, she had much to learn still. A killer that might lurk underneath always had to have such a natural spark to them but there was so much more to the art than this. And beside, this was suggesting that Charlotte herself was planning an extended stay in this dreary wasteland where fashion came to die. She had her intentions set on getting her new little predator ready for her own first flight before wiping the stain of this wretched town from the soles of her sorely outdated shoes.

As Charlotte busied herself, walking the hallways of the mostly silent wing, she couldn’t help feeling terribly cross with her nemesis. Thinking of the young Juliette and her promise that she showed, she intended fully on instructing the girl of the most important part of being the dream girl with the killer smile: leaving them breathless, with the emphasis on leaving. This was Vivian’s worst of crimes, Charlotte decided. The empty halls echoing her thoughts around, she was often offended by her enemy’s sins but this one seemed particularly frustrating today. It was downright shameful! Here, Vivian had all the opportunities that anyone could hope for in her position to rid herself and the world of the stain upon society that Kent was. Yet, he was still alive and making everyone around him miserable while she languished in semi-agonizing comfort. Granted, it could hadly be described as comfortable in this household. While the agony was usually short-lived for most, Vivian was the only one being routinely poisoned by her own staff and husband so there was a slightly tainted element to her own sense of settlement there. And yet that only further proved Charlotte’s point. It was the height of laziness, in her eyes. How could she truly think herself respectable when that man still walked the grounds of this home? How could she truly believe herself a force to be reckoned with as she stayed here, nearly bed-ridden, when she should have been terrorizing the English country side of its witless elderly nobles? Charlotte might have suggested that she try to dip her toes into the French society men but even they would not trouble themselves with such a wretch and Charlotte hated the idea of Vivian spoiling her harvest by making one of those men fat, lazy and as utterly vile as Reginald Kent. To stay in this house and glut herself on its charmless comforts. Such a bloody waste!

While it was very difficult to keep her mind on social etiquette here, Charlotte begrudgingly admitted that the killing of one’s husband before proper reason presented itself was still on the side of rude so she had opted for another method of making life tolerable. On that note, she found that gaining favor with the staff was coming along well. Granted, some aspects of this were slower than she was used to. The more menial work they did, the more she was able to gain their trust with little to no effort. In this regard, simply a kind word was enough to engage the old rule of “my enemy’s enemy” for many of them and others were won over with just as little exertion on her part. In turn, this had done much in the way of providing her with clean food and smaller, hidden comforts that might have otherwise gone amiss. Unfortunately, those with access to the cars or even the garden were more in line with the Master’s point of view in this house. For reasons that seemed somewhat like a personal attack, they tended to be more wary of her.

It was small insult to her at this point in her career of widowhood but occasionally still cause for injury to her. It may have been technically true that she’d killed a couple of them already but it was hardly grounds to paint her with such broad strokes as these hapless lads had done. The first brute, she maintained, all but killed himself, what with leaving that bloody servant’s door ajar. If he’d not been so very careless and distracted in his quest to violate the house ladies he might have been alive still. The fact that he was owed a proper treatment for his own mishandling of a lady such as herself was besides the point. It was only a unique failure of his own that caused his graceless, lingering death at the bottom of the steps. Hardly her fault if he was clumsy and lacking in intelligence. And the other? Well perhaps she’d had more of a hand in that one but truly, the Kent household practically owed her compensation for such an act of good will. The very idea that she had been so altruistic was somewhat distasteful to her but she had truly done it for the good of the house and given how much she wished that it would catch fire and destroy everyone with that wretched family name, that was going above and beyond in her case. Oh they might make cursing sounds now but did they know the truth? He might have been a driver for the household but if her ride to this forsaken place was any indication of his skills, they ought to have let that vile man freeze to death long before they gave her the opportunity. And once again, could she truly be blamed for his idiocy? If the hapless lummox was so keen to see the outdoors in the middle of the night to drink and relieve himself like the near barnyard beast he was, she saw no reason why he should take up a bed inside the house. That was only good sense and she’d likely saved the awful family some money on that one.

Alas, her short foray into good natured cleaning was for naught. It was still to be that the men of the house who were holding the keys to some of the most useful means of escape were to call her vixen. She’d been unfairly relegated to the role of untrustworthy harlot and currently nothing was about to change their stubborn perception. Pity that. That said, her good deeds had not gone entirely unappreciated. Thankfully for her, the ladies of the house were somewhat tardy in their reply but when they did gather, they were all too happy to celebrate her thoughtfulness. How very eager they were to show her the means to stay alive here. She’d been shown some lovely little solutions before but as of now, she knew that she was able to disappear completely in this house if she wanted. It was a strange secret but one that she was itching to explore more of. It was only once she got a chance to move freely that she would yet be able to see for herself the gift that she’d been given.

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