At twelve, Aimee-Lee crouched outside the living-room door, on the balls of her feet. She was listening, trying to understand where her father and brothers would be going two nights on.

"-The flight leaves early, so ve much be ready. It had been paid for. Ve leave for my home land. How exciting." She heard her father say, with a small spark of delight. What was said next, by the younger brother, Masque, confused her.

"What of the target, Florian? The pay, who it is, the difficulty?" She could almost imagine him moving his hand in a motion, like the way he flourished his hand when he interrupted her dance lessons, pulling her off to dance. irritating her tutor.

"Vernen Bow. An American. He is lazy, off-guard. rich. My client simply vants him dead. Ve may take vhat ve vant, if ve so vish."

It was then under her feet that the boards creeked, as she shifted. To steady herself, her hand rested on the door, sounding a small thud. She cursed herself. She wanted to run, as Vaurien opened the door.

Her eldest brother's dark eyes were stern, his hair pulled back like their father's. His face was thin, and on the right side of his face, he held a gash in his cheek. He was formal, stern with his sister. He taught her violin, and would hit her lightly on the head with his bow whenever she stumbled over her notes. He was in his mid-twenties.

Within, her father sat, his hand massaging his temple. He watched her, with a gaze that was wary, yet surprised.

Masque, the youngest gentleman in the house, was truely a gentleman, who lowered his age, eighteen, to play with his little sister. He was slim, from always going running or dancing, with light green eyes, and black hair that fell loosely around his slightly rounded, kindly face. He had a slight smile upon his thin lips, as his eyes met hers, giving her a clumsy wink.

"It seems she's stumbled over our little secret, hmm?" Florian asked, with a sigh. 

"Aimee-Lee. why aren't you in bed?" Vaurien asked, a sort of malice in his voice. She scowled at him, and stuck out her tongue at him.

"Come here, 'Mee-Lee." Masque said. She obeyed, curling up into his lap, and refusing to move. 

The End

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