Michelle Williams for Esquire Russia

Posted on April 26, 2013

These pictures and a few others have popped up here and there, but it’s the weekend (OFFICIALLY, BITCHES), the sun will still be shining for a couple more hours at our end of things so we’re feeling extra-lazy, we’re a bit wiped after all the Project Runway coverage, and it’s a fun, pretty note to go out on.

We keep saying that if fashion mags are going to insist on using actors as models, then they should dress them up as characters and give them something to do. Michelle Williams? That’s your cue.

Michelle Williams covers the May 2013 issue of Esquire Russia.

Your assignment for the weekend, queens:

Come up with a name and short backstory for each character. EXTRA CREDIT: Tell a short story with all three characters. EXTRA-SPECTACULAR CREDIT: Work in the words “synecdoche,” “filament,” and “engorged.”

Go.

And have a fabulous weekend, y’all.

 

[Image Credit: thefashionspot.com]

    • YourBaloneyDontGotNoSecondName

      my husband The Sev would divorce me if i did as TLO asked. she would divorce me at least 37 times.

    • Pants_are_a_must

      That’s the first time in my memory that I’ve seen a ladystar doing a men’s magazine photoshoot and she’s wearing more than strategically-placed lace.

      • Sobaika

        Maybe Esquire Russia is different? But I was surprised about that too.

        • Pants_are_a_must

          I’m straining my memory about past Russian photoshoots, but all I’m coming up with is princess images. Maybe they have less interest in outright objectifying of the lady celebs.

          • formerlyAnon

            “Maybe they have less interest in outright objectifying of the lady celebs.”

            Based on the Russian nationals (male) whom I have known, this is not the theory to back.

            • http://geekentertainment.tv irinaslutsky

              based on being russian, i agree with you

        • https://twitter.com/Gayer_Than_Thou Gayer Than Thou

          In Russia, men’s magazine covers you!

          No, that doesn’t work…

      • quiltrx

        Maybe they prefer to have a little backstory in the spank bank, instead of just ‘the goods’?

    • Lori

      I’m not sure about #2, but I assume that #3 is the rich widow who is about to cash in my forclosing on #1′s farm.

      • http://twitter.com/Sinead_Doyle Sinéad Doyle

        #2 (Josephine) is the disguise #1 (Josey)uses to infiltrate high society as part of a cunning plan to discredit #3 (Katherine) and save her farm. It’s a fish out of water screwball comedy and Josey also ends up having to choose between nice guy who is helping her to fit in with high society (because he has travelled to work with 3rd world communities etc… and seen the world beyond his rich clique and has new morals and such) who is attractive but who she only sees as a friend and suspects is gay even though everyone else can see he has a crush on her and Katherine’s fiance who is charming and handsome and falls for her…

        • Lori

          I’d watch that movie.

          • http://twitter.com/Sinead_Doyle Sinéad Doyle

            I say we get together and bring this script to Cannes to sell to a big studio…

      • sekushinonyanko

        Well naturally #2 is #1′s fancy cousin from out of town who seduces #3 so that they get to keep the farm in a comedic bamboozle.

    • Beverly Kozma

      I can’t read Russian, but I think you’re mistaken. The first pic is clearly a young Truman Capote.

    • hughman

      Countess Aboveya was shocked to find a strange filament in her lobster bisque that afternoon at Le Cirque but with one quick flick of her wrist she sent it flying. Unfortunately it hit Tootsie Newark, the up and coming starlet who was dining with her “agent”, square in her mascaraed eye and she let out a high-pitched shreek. “Ah ma gawd! Sumpin’s in my eye!” Tootsie wailed as workers who’d been remodeling the powder room rushed into the dining area. Bobby Whittle, son of the foreman and newly hired apprentice, rushed over and gallantly plucked it from her tearful face.

      “Tanks! My hero!” Tootsie exclaimed. “You sure gotta a lotta class for a working joe!”

      “That’s quite a synedoche” the Countess remarked. “Don’t you mean a lot of “working class”? She then delicately patted the remaining soup from her immaculate face and left to enter her limo.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=717955989 Barbara Affolter

      #1 is Gemma, a plucky british mother of 2, who is working hard at home while our boys are fighting across the Channel. While she’s not working in the community gardens or rolling bandages, she’s setting filaments into cockpit dash assemblies. She is mistaken when she thinks that she is helping to build the same model her husband is flying over Dresden.

      • BrooklynBomber

        Fabulous.

        • PeaceBang

          That really was fabulous. Practically brought a tear to mine eye.

    • JosephLamour

      #3: Meet Coriander Bray-Wythe.

      She’s a 27 year old sheer fabrics heiress who always likes to dress like Hedy Lamarr at a spring funeral. Her favorite things are deer antler armchairs, Angela Lansbury, and light bulb filament sculpture, a hobby which Coriander finds herself extremely gifted. in a stunning play of synecdoche, filament sculpting has started to be referred to as “coriandering”. She is pleased about this, but she won’t let her ego become too engorged.

      • JosephLamour

        (The things you two inspire me to do.)

      • http://profiles.google.com/claudiaberry Claudia Berry

        Not as engorged as her newly lactating breasts, surely.

      • Pants_are_a_must

        That’s a very sophisticated backstory for someone who looks like Brienne of Tarth’s scrawny little sister.

        • JosephLamour

          I think Brienne is pretty sophisticated in her kickassery. So it fits. LOL

        • http://twitter.com/DarrenNesbitt Darren Nesbitt

          Oh wow, yeah I’m pretty sure she is a Tarth. I see it.

    • NoGovernmentName

      #1 Corey: Corey has always lived on the Mississippi, ever since he was a wee lad, he dreamed of working on a river boat, sailing down the engorged river to the Gulf of Mexico. Now that he is thirteen, the day he can shed his worn denim overalls, and become a steam boat captain, just like his long lost father grows ever closer.

    • MilaXX

      #1 is Leslie. She and organic beet farmer, who also runs a carpentry business on the side. However she only makes coffee tables. Why? Because according to Leslie, “Everyone needs a place to put a good book.” Leslie’s favorite books are Weeds in a Changing World, Oral Sadism and the Vegetarian Personality: Reading from the Journal of Polymorphous Perversity, and The Complete Idiots Guide to Planted Based Nutrition. On the weekends Leslie enters her prized beets in county fairs. She is a blue ribbon winner for her seemingly engorged 25lb golden beets. When asked how she does it, Leslie will only reply, “It’s in the fertilizer.”

    • j_anson

      I love that the photos already imply a story: backwoods teen, ingenue in the big city, grande dame.

    • Teresa

      In the third picture I mistook her for Carey Mulligan!

      • Ceur

        Absolutely this. I saw the picture on the front page and thought it was a Mulligan editorial.

      • calimon

        She’s pulling off some serious Tilda Swinton in the first picture.

    • CarolinLA

      Look three: looking to give the synecdoche of small town waitresses a more refined look with a filament of black, Lana Turner attends the funeral of her husband who was murdered by the engorged drifter in The Postman Always Rings Twice.

    • gurl boy

      Third pic looks like Mary of Teck, Queen Mary….Queen Elizabeth II’s grandmama! She was notorious for snatching anything she wanted when visiting a subjects home, estate or stables….art, jewelry, furniture! No filament was safe from her royal roving eye! A rumor persists that a prized race horse named “Synecdoche” became the property of this overly engorged ROYAL at the expense of an unwary weekend host!

    • BrooklynBomber

      ♥♥♥

    • formerlyAnon

      Girl #3 rules all of Europe, is all I know.

    • http://twitter.com/#!/Space_Kitty Space Kitty

      Homeschooled, ScarJo, Lucille Ball.

      And there’s that bottle of wine.

    • MarissaLG

      But I mean really- how much do you guys thing Michelle Williams hates Carrie Mulligan. A lot, right?

    • oekmama

      Corry (#1) knows she’s screwed up. She was hired to kill Coraleen’s (#2) rich but unfortunately, young boring husband.
      Coraleen is shocked, that though engorged, Bob still refuses to die. Cora (#3) lets them know she is not amused with any attempt to bring synecdoche into the conversation. Corry fears for her life. The filament of the light-bulb abover her head flickers, then goes out.

    • TheAmericaness

      In the first pic she looks like she could be on the cover of “The Heart is A Lonely Hunter”, 2nd pic – Young Liz? 3rd Pic Older but wiser Liz telling Dickie without moving her lips that she was foolish to think that marrying him a second time would work and that his clothing is already in ashes in his suitcase waiting for him at the Savoy.

    • JosephLamour

      I think they should have a weekly contest for these. Like the Style Invitational on The Washington Post.

      • MilaXX

        I’ve seen them. I’d never be able to match the creativity some of those posters have.

    • Noshmek

      The NEW Patty Duke Show, as seen above, is an example of gritty remakes gone too far. I mean honestly. Throwing in of a few filaments from the original, the odd country bumpkin cousin (Patty) and the snooty English one (Cathy), are barely perceptible. But the addition of the super-villainess third identical cousin, named Ursula of course, takes the concept so far away that it’s barely a synecdoche. In fact, it seems more a direct rip of the BBC’s Orphan Black than the sweet character piece Patty Duke rendered 50 years ago. It’s as if someone became engorged on the new direction to take everything to it’s unnatural apocalyptic conclusion and regurgitated this. Pray to whatever Gods you do that NBC won’t pick this one up this fall.

    • Miss_Led

      #1. Avery Tuggles is a ranch hand often referred to as “good people” (admittedly, a synecdoche). Avery has left the cows’ teats engorged and all the hens still sitting on their freshly-laid eggs in order to perch on a stool and daydream. She will tell her sister Filament to milk the cows. Right now, Avery desperately needs to write a poem in her head.

    • pattycap11

      Young Valentina was head of a regional farming council in Russia when she caught the eye of Supreme Leader Leonid Brezhnev, who was inspecting some new threshing machinery. He quickly sent her off to Moscow and the KGB, where she was an excellent student. Off to NYC, where she became the third Mrs. Don Draper while finding out all she could about Dow Chemical. Disappointed in Don’s lack of intel, she poisoned him and inherited his fortune. After the Soviet Union split up, Valentina elected to remain in NYC where she spent her time supporting the arts and secretly running one of Russia’s most powerful mobs. Oh, and synecdoche, filament, and engorged.

    • DaringMiss

      She looks like Jennifer Lawrence in the second picture.

    • SewingSiren

      1. Synecdoche- homosexual female.

      2. Wig- Synthetic filament.

      3. Botox engorged.

    • Sarah

      Mrs. Van Zandt, widow of a furniture magnate, is a collector
      of Abstract Expressionist art and a particular fan of anything by Georgia O’Keeffe,
      because she likes the way her paintings remind her of her youthful days as a
      dancer, when she would wear the most gossamer filaments of fabric and tease the
      men in the audience with her nubile body as she swept across the stage. Mrs.
      Van Zandt finds herself in a nasty predicament, however, as she is forced to be
      accompanied by her son’s most insufferable girlfriend, Lilah, on a drive from
      New York to South Carolina, where she will view new pieces of art for her
      collection at auction in Charleston, and Lilah will visit with her relatives.
      Lilah, Mrs. Van Zandt believes (but tries to keep to herself) is a gold-digging
      tart, and always appears to be rudely engorged in some way or another. The way
      her bosom protrudes from her garments is most off-putting to a woman of Mrs Van
      Zandt’s character and breeding. On the drive, the chauffer informs them that 40
      more troops have been killed in battle in Afghanistan, and Lilah mentions that
      some of her family is in the army. Mrs. Van Zandt does not care, and points out
      that she never approved of the synecdoche “troops” when meant to refer to human
      beings, although any relative of Lilah’s is of absolutely no concern to her. Lilah
      has no idea what the hell she’s talking about. Upon their arrival in
      Charleston, they are met by a personage introduced as “Earlene,” who proves to
      be Lilah’s cousin, and has arrived in, to Mrs. Van Zandt’s continuing disdain,
      a pickup truck. It turns out that Earlene’s husband is one of the troops
      killed, and she is in a state of utter despair. This moves Mrs. Van Zandt just
      a little bit – but not too much, because really, a woman should have more care
      for her appearance! But since she is such a sad, pathetic character, and she is
      already saddled with the most wearisome Lilah, she offers to take the two women
      to lunch before her auction starts. Of course, they have to get a new dress for
      Earlene, first, because dead husband be damned, Mrs. Van Zandt isn’t going out
      with ANYONE in overalls.

      • guest2visits

        I totally see furniture magnate widow…ha!
        Good story.

    • MaryAtRealityTea

      Is it me or does she look like Fran Drescher in the second photo? Creepy!

    • sado

      #3 She looks so much like lucile ball……..

    • PastryGoddess

      Oh this is going to be good!

    • http://twitter.com/sylvia_warren Sylvia

      1. Meet clara f, self-styled with no capitalisation. She’s an artist in Camden who tears the male reproductive organs of a plant apart, making sculptures out of the remaining filaments. Her apartment smells of pollen, coffee and slightly stale sweat, and she has a chain of ex-boyfriends who are worried about what her sculptures represent.

      2. Clara Fitz-Hugh is the daughter of an eminent surgeon and a bored, aristocratic Marchioness. Known universally as Eyebrows, she recently used this synecdoche to start a line of grooming products, to this disgust of her father, who considers appearance a trivial occupation, and her mother, who thinks work a vulgar one.

      3. When they found Clara Hundertwasser, neé Florian, standing on the docks, looking over at the engorged body of her late husband, it looked like an open-and-closed case. A notorious philanderer, Carl Hundertwasser had been the heir to a pearl empire, the latter of which often negated the former in his string of ex-wives, at least for a little time. Clara Florian-Hundertwasser looked impassively over the water-swollen face, rubbing the large pearl earring that concealed a fatal dose of arsenic, and wondered who had got to the pig first.

      • alyce1213

        Love this. ‘Eyebrows’ killed me.
        Your writing flows and the content is quite clever. Great job!

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=571205045 Kent Roby

      I’m not feeling clever enough for a backstory (sorry, Uncles Dearest!), but I am oddly excited over a men’s magazine (heck, ANY magazine) putting an adorable pixie in baggy overalls on the cover, it’s just so very unexpected.

    • AmeliaEve

      Hyppolita Entsminger is a first-year student at Smith who has been experimenting with the styles of well-known photographers as she searches to find her own artistic voice. In the first self-portrait, Polly explores the classic Dust Bowl narratives of Dorothea Lange, imagining what might have happened if the prize-winning WPA photographer had brought her Okie subjects into the studio and cleaned them up a little. Next, she takes on the iconic work of Cindy Sherman, employing the obvious artifice of a cheap mono-filament wig and a campy maquillage employing heavily lined doe eyes and a pale lipstick that leaves her mouth looking engorged. The “illusion” netting of the blouse references the illusions created in Sherman’s character portraits. The third self-portrait is an homage to the masterly elegance of Cecil Beaton, using his trademark high contrast styling and timeless upper class fashion, along with an expression of cultivated hauteur. Polly’s next assignment is her greatest challenge yet, to create a self-portrait in the style of Ansel Adams. She is considering using a single starkly lit breast as both a synecdoche for herself and an evocation of Adams’ mountainous landscapes.

      • BrooklynBomber

        Brava!

      • tereliz

        Awesome use of synecdoche! Bravo!

    • disqus_hbdPAeXyee

      She reminds me of Tilda Swinton on the cover – clean and androgynous. I like it.

    • http://profiles.google.com/dorothymichael Dorothy & Michael n/a

      This is about the cheesiest writing ever seen on this website. But what the hell:

      The tale must be told! My Alexsei promised me one day he would find our girls again, and yet he has failed. Thank heavens that Esquire magazine has done what he could not. This torturous tome has been engorged in my heart for far too long, and so I must share. For thirty-three years I have kept silent. But no more!

      Alexsei and I loved each other, but he had suffered. He was a watchmaker, a skill he learned from his grandfather. But work was so scarce! Eventually he knew he must do something else. He searched for work, and stayed away from home for weeks on end, always trying to earn to support his too-large family. In thirteen years , five sons we were blessed with. The two older ones loaned out to neighbors for mere rubles for simple work. And then my final pregnancy – how were we to know it would nearly kill me?! Three baby girls – too much to keep in an already cramped farmhouse. Imbued with filaments of love and despair, we had to give them away.

      Alexsei found homes for them all with the assistance of the Orthodox priest in the next town over from ours. I had no knowledge of where they went. I know now Alexsei was sworn to secrecy. But now, thanks to Esquire
      magazine, we have found our daughters!

      Darya, sweet little Dasha, seems to have been living only seven miles away. Her parents were childless, and had been praying for a baby. They didn’t have much, but their dreams came true when Darya was placed
      in their arms. At their farm she leads a simple life, much like the one I lead!

      Our Yulia is now a show girl in St. Petersburg. Her parents were unkind. Her brothers were too attentive. She was a runaway when she was 15 – did she know she has two sisters who are her three-way mirror image?! This heartbreak about her life tears my soul to pieces!

      And finally, Tatiana – the life she has been blessed with! Fine food, expensive clothes, Uncles Tom and Lorenzo in the USA who showered her with attention – she has had it all! No suffering for this little girl. Will her heart find room to lift up her sisters now that the magazine has discovered them all?!

      Does anyone, anywhere, have a synecdoche to summarize my
      sweet, separated daughters???!

    • http://twitter.com/cornekopia Shawn EH

      1. Bordella Stuyvesant: Left behind for long stretches at the farm by her photographer husband, she’s started having affairs with the ranch hands and itinerant help. She may not be there anymore when he gets back. If things go wrong, she can always rely on her sister in Manahttan to take her in, that’s –

      2. Passion Romero: Yes, that was her you saw off-broadway play last season, and she was discovered sitting at the lunch counter of a Russian deli in the East Village. She really loves pierogis! She’s now hoping for a part on Hemlock Grove or at least the revived One Life to Live to pay the bills, and her headshot is in the mail. Her longterm dream is for her playwright boyfriend Niles Cuddy to get his second play at least as far as previews. If only she knew of a wealthy theater patron like –

      3. Agnes Bauer: She’s been looking for a project to fund for weeks. All that money should be used for something other than refitting her penthouse apartment (upper west side) one more time. She’s quite happy with the marble and leather and steel that funny Italian put in last time. She’s asked a few of her theater contacts to send her some of their more interesting cold solicitations, and she’s just opening the envelope from Passion –

    • Melizmatic

      The first character is ‘Sweet Pea’ Puckett; a gold-hearted ‘bastard’ out of South Carolina, on her way to white-wash a picket fence, before she gets caught up in a wacky misadventure down-river.

      The second is “Talullah Devereux”, an ingenue songstress from a seedy 1920′s nightclub, and moll to an infamous Chicago gangster.

      The 3rd is an update on ‘Mrs White’ from the movie “Clue”; stand back darlings, this time, she received ‘the dagger’ in her mysterious gift-box and she won’t hesitate to cut a bitch.

    • tereliz

      DEAL?
      A short story by Tere Kirkland

      For the second time in her twenty-one years, Darla Jeanne Ferrier felt fear chill her blood. Her heart pounded as she turned the corner onto Perdido Street, away from the echoing voices of roughnecks and sailors on furlough.

      All it had taken was a simple slurred synecdoche from one of the sailors, “Hey, Legs!”, and Darla felt a desperate urge to flee from the smoky, bourbon-scented bar. A gut instinct she felt forced to act upon. She pushed past the sailor, engorged as he was with liquor and pride and lust, and made straight for the door. The cold December air prickled the bare flesh of her shoulders in her sparse black cocktail dress. She’d left her coat and hat behind in the hotel barroom she’d so hastily abandoned, and couldn’t bring herself to return for them. She had her purse, she’d find a room in a cheap hotel for the night instead. It would eat into her meager savings, but she’d rethink her plan in the morning.

      “Penny for your thoughts?”

      A girl’s voice slipped out of the shadows, making Darla start. Her leather clutch fell to the sidewalk. Instead of reaching for it, she stood, spellbound, as the strange girl crept forward for the fallen bag. Her hair glinted in the nearby streetlamp like filaments of starlight, short and swept back and framing a face like one of the angels on the ceiling of the cathedral. Denim overalls covered her scrawny legs, but, to Darla’s surprise, the urchin’s feet were bare. Without hesitating, without even a second spared to admire the fine Italian workmanship, the girl handed Darla the black patent clutch.

      “Din’t mean to scare ya, miss. You know you shouldn’t oughta be out here this time o’ night. Anythin’ could happen to ya.”

      Darla, taken aback a third time by this angelic urchin, surprised herself by saying. “And what about you? Is there somewhere you ought to be?”

      “Oh, I’m right where I’m supposed to be,” the girl answered. “But a lady like yourself don’t look like she belongs around these parts.”

      “To tell the truth, I’m trying to leave,” Darla admitted. “I don’t have enough money for a train ticket though. I thought I could make some really quick, just once, just to get out of here. But I couldn’t do it.”

      “Oh,” the girl said with a knowing nod. “I see. You hungry? I know a place, a quiet place, where we can get us some cheap eats. I know a place you can stay, too.”

      The girl’s smile seemed sincere, but that anxiety in Darla’s gut still hadn’t dissipated. Still, she was freezing, starving, and bone-tired. She’d return to the fancy hotel in the morning to retrieve her coat and hat, during the sanctity of daylight. And early enough that she would not be recognized. Grateful, Darla gave the girl a small smile, which earned her an enormous grin in return.

      “I’m Suzie,” the girl said as she took Darla’s hand and led her down the street. It was a part of town that Darla had never known well, and she soon became disoriented. Her upper-class Uptown family had never had much cause to spend time this far downtown. Never had she visited the area alone. Unchaperoned. The word reminded her of Donald and she shivered. Suzie must have noticed, for she patted Darla’s hand with a gentle, if dirt-smudged, hand.

      “Here we are,” the girl said as they stopped at the back gate of an old Victorian mansion. She led Darla inside, to a warm kitchen. “Sit by the fire, warm yourself. I’ll be right back.”

      Darla nodded, barely listening, only glad to be warm, and completely out of the reach of Donald and his family. To think she’d once thought herself in love with him! But that was before he proved himself to be such a lecherous monster. Her ribs still ached from the way he’d grabbed her, torn her dress. Tried to… She closed her eyes.

      She must have fallen asleep for just a moment, for when she woke, there was a woman in the kitchen. Not Suzie, nor your standard scarf-headed cook, no, this woman was as out of place in that room as a queen in a coal mine. Her sleek golden hair was topped by a black feathered hat. Its pearl-studded veil did little to obscure her classical beauty.

      “Suzie tells me you’re looking for work,” the woman said. “Perhaps I can help you with that. My name is Madam Feliciana Casquette.”

      Despite her drowsiness, Darla was thoroughly aware of the type of work this woman, this madam, was offering. At first she shook her head, and tried to open her mouth to say no. But she had to make money somehow if she wanted to be free from Donald, from his hard fists and sanguine temper. And perhaps if she did it here, in a house where she would be safe, be able to cry for help if the need arose… No. She didn’t want to do it. But she felt somehow, that she HAD to. She had no coice. Not if she wanted to be free of him. Her father didn’t understand her fears, chalked them up to cold feet. She couldn’t tell him the truth. She’d rather leave him behind for good than die a slow death married to his business partner’s son.

      She nodded.

      Madam Casquette’s lip quirked into something resembling a smile. “Good. Follow Suzie. She’ll prepare you.”

      Suzie’s smiling face crept into Darla’s vision, but as the girl led her up the stairs and into a silk and satin bedroom, dimly lit by a single scarf-covered lamp, Darla’s vision blurred. Perhaps if she got far enough away from the city, and Donald, she’d be able to pretend that what was bound to happen tonight was a dream. That Donald was just a nightmare. The other girl primped Darla’s black curls, helped her into a feathered robe and matching slippers. She settled her on the bed, propped her up against the pillows, and snuck out of the room.

      A brief eternity later, there was a knock on the door and a man staggered in. He stumbled out of his shoes and trousers, and then tripped over the rug on the floor. His head hit the metal bedstead and he groaned.

      “Damned rug,” he began. He spoke on at length, damning the rug, the house, the cheap whiskey, but Darla barely heard his words. Her heart had stopped. She knew his voice. Donald Granger Senior. The father of the very fiancé she was so hell-bent on leaving. Once he realized his whore was Darla, he’d be so angry, he’d be so, he’d be so…

      She smiled. “Dear me, Mister Granger. What have we here?”

      “What, what?” the man blinked through spirit-sodden eyes until he was able to make sense of the situation. “Darla? What are you— Why, I never—”

      “You never what, sir?” she said, recovering the boldness, the vim for life, the vigor that Donald the Lesser had frightened out of her with his rough hands and fiery temper. “You never paid for a woman’s company before? And I suppose your son has never, either? Suffice it to say, that I no longer feel that your son and I make a suitable match. Wouldn’t you agree?”

      The man’s face purpled, veins at his throat and temple throbbed. “I should say not, young lady. Does your father know—”

      “We’re not speaking of my father. We’re speaking of you. And your son. And now, we’re speaking of your wife. Sweet, innocent Marie Granger. Mother of your five children. Daughter of a Baptist preacher, if I remember correctly. Just what do you think she’d say if she knew what had occurred in this room?”

      “You’d never risk your own reputation, you cunning little twat,” the man began. He pulled up his trousers. “You’d never tell her—”

      “You have no idea what I would or wouldn’t do right now, old man,” she said, feeling like a piece of her heart had been dammed up and now that dam had burst. “I think it’s time for you and I to come to terms. You tell Donald that I no longer wish to marry him, and I’ll keep secret that you’re a whore-mongering drunk who tried to seduce his son’s fiancée.”

      The man sputtered, but Darla knew she’d won. She wouldn’t have to leave home, leave her father. She wouldn’t have to marry Donald. She knew she had Mister Granger by his unmentionables.

      She took a deep breath, smiled sweetly, and said, “Deal?”

    • Derek_anny

      Violette is an heiress. She’s seen all the stress her mother the Marchioness Lillian Donita Bernadette endures maintaining a public face, and so chooses to wear a mask of naive simplicity. Few people know that behind that lace filigree there’s a woman with a brain. One of those people is the son of the Farm Steward, Allmon. They’ve been friends, and later sometime lovers, ever since that time he helped her out of the rain-engorged brook. He had been learning to tend the 200-head heard when her horse ran by. The horse cleared the stream. Violette did not, though with only her clothing injured.

      It was eventually settled that Violette and Allmon would wed, and would tend the country estate while her sister and younger brother upheld the Family’s civic duties.