“Our contract, ma’am.” A brief hiatus while they conferred. Miss Frothinglips took advantage by whispering in my ear. “He is quite handsome, despite being in trade. I’ll bet he’s a great fuck.” We clashed. Unspoken words sliced as sharpest steel. Gauntlets and hilts locked in upright stances; she leaned in and kissed me firmly, whispering once more. “Louisa is not the only trained girl here, Ruby.” My world spun. I no longer could pretend I understood the many interlocking relationships at Peacock House. Everything existed on another plane. “Very well, sir, all is in order.” Mrs. Cleanknockers broke our combat.
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