TITLE: SOMEPLACE WILD
GENRE: Women's Fiction (Historical)
I stood alone in my chemise and drawers in my dressmaker’s fitting room and closed my eyes, imagining I was somewhere else, anywhere else. Anywhere, but here.
Haggling voices cut through my reverie. “Mrs. Rose, I understand your difficult financial situation, and I sympathize, but the fact remains the balance on your clothing account is sizeable and well overdue. I must demand payment.”
I pushed the drapes open a fraction, and my fingers played with the rich red velvet as I waited and watched.
My mother. She’d extricate us from this rough spot with my dressmaker, but which technique would she use? She’d been extinguishing fires like these for the past few months, ever since Father had fled the city with all our money. She’d become good at it, proving a debutante’s skills never became obsolete, even if her debut ball occurred over twenty years ago.
Mother placed her hand on Mr. Volkov’s bare forearm, near the crook of his elbow, and her fingers slipped a bit under the thick cuffs of his rolled shirtsleeves. When her fingers first grazed his skin, thatched with dark hair, his eyes widened. She smiled that smile I knew so well, sweet and sticky like melted caramel, and I knew she’d get what she wanted, what we needed. More time.
“We’re civilized people, Mr. Volkov. We should be able to come to an amicable arrangement. One that will suit both our needs,” she said.