Dearest Shu Lien,
Madame Begarde has left us. She received a letter from her sister, begging for assistance to deal with her own beast of a daughter. This means that I am left alone to teach Therese, which suits me just fine. The plans for the debut are nearly done. It is the matter of the performance that is difficult.
Sweet Therese is actually quite good at poem structure. She is able to rhyme words together that I thought to be impossible. Her work is lacking substance, however. There is no soul to it. I am bound by duty to tell her this.
“What should I do,” she begs me, “I don’t want to disappoint.”
At that moment Monsieur Fontaine enters the room. Sweet Therese has her back to him, so only I am aware…
“You need inspiration.”
I lead her away so that she does not notice the Marquise, but instead the view toward the window.
“There is a particular spot in the garden,” I tell her “Right by the pond. Sit at the bench and let inspiration find you.”
With that, she pushes away with only a “thank you” between us.
Monsieur Fontaine is now upon me, looking down at me. Our eyes meet and I whisper to him.
“Work awaits you. Go, inspire her.”
From the second story window I see them together. He takes her hand and speaks what can only be sweet words. She speaks and he interrupts. She is a slave to his words, a lamb for a sacrifice. Sweet Therese, so naïve to the world. She has no idea that he is the hunter to her prey, that his kiss is as fatal as that of a snake. When he does give her that fatal kiss, I realize two facts. One, that Therese will join the list of many who had been taken by Fontaine. And the second would be that dear Leon would once again spend the night with me. The following morning I meet with Monsieur Fontaine. He tells me of his success.
“It is as I told you,” he brags, “Careful planning, has made your task quite easy.”
“So it seems. I feel foolish for doubting you.”
“You know” he takes my hand and kisses it “She isn’t as lovely as others make her out to be.”
He repeats his previous action, but holds his lips to my skin for much longer than before. For some reason my body refuses to breath.
“For the entirety of my time with her, I thought of no one else but you.”
Before I can question him, I find myself silenced by his lips upon mine. A great shock pushes through me, one that I had never felt before. Pain is not its messenger, but something else is. What though? What?
“I can not wait for my reward.”
The shock dissipates and I once again have my will.
“My reward. That which was promised to me.”
I laugh at his bewildered expression, knowing fully well that it would slightly anger him.
“Dear Edward,” It is strange, using his first name, “Our deal has yet to be completed. There is still much to be done.”
His frustration is evident, but he hides it better than most.
“And what,” he mutters, “Can I do to help hasten it?”
I curl my finger, gesture, him to come closer.
“Tell me Monsieur, how is your poetry?”