Ms. Dawes walked past the gate to her farmhouse mansion. The white columns with the more old-English architecture gave it a very rich look, which it practically was. The cows and horses in the back of the house were heading to their shelter for the night, as Irene set her newly stolen horse into the barn she and her father had built with their bare hands.
Her father was the mayor of Tomoha, he wasn't anymore. When Irene was around the age of fourteen, her father was brutally murdered, and all the money he worked for gone and taken. The death of her father was a bullet to the heart for Irene. Her pride and joy was gone, her reason for living was gone. Her mother's depression only got worse, and her older sister just moved out with her new husband only a year after.
Irene was the only one at the house when it had happened. She didn't like to think about it either. She did this for him, she stole, and lived, for him. To avenge him.
She jumped off the horse she recently stole and pulled him into the barn. There was hardly enough room for the horses because she seemed to gain a new one every time she could get her hands on one, when needed. She could certainly sell them for a good price as well.
"Rest up ol' boy," she said, patting his head, "I might need you tomorrow. I'm heading to town."
The horse just pretended like it understood and neighed. Irene needed the comfort of some animals, no matter how dumb they could be. The hole in her heart couldn't be replaced by anything, a pet, friends, or even a man; but it could be soothed. Her decisions to influence men and seduce them, wasn't very enjoyable for her, but if it was to getting "revenge", or if they were in the way, so be it. The rope attaching the sack of stolen property fell, she picked it up and looked at the money. Sighing, she grabbed the bag and held the strings firmly.
She took the silent walk of shame to her mansion back-door. Her boot heels clicked from the spurs and crunched in the gravel with every step. She opened the door to find Sophie, her maid and best friend, to be standing in front of her.
Her blonde hair was in a nice bun as usual, and she wore a simple maid's outfit. The original black and white uniform made her look neat and tidy, but she was a youngling of only seventeen to be working for Irene. Ms. Dawes found her alone on the street, and took her in to work for her. Sophie had asked for no money, but only a place to stay while she worked.
She lived in a mansion, and Irene was such a good person, she couldn't deny this girl to not stay at her place. Nobody else lived there anyways with her, it might be good company. The whole "adoption" act turned into a habit, she had hired some very good cooks, a few more maids, and a groundskeeper to take care of the grass and feeding.
All she needed was a nice cowboy to take care of the livestock, if such a man would ever work for her.
"How much tonight Ms. Dawes?" Sophie asked as she polished fine china.
"Sophie," she gave her a look. Irene actually despised bragging about money or kills, that's how a person morphs into a creature of greed and sin. She took a more humble approach to her so called "accomplisments".
"I'm sorry Irene," Sophie blushed from embarrassment.
"Ten thousand," Irene decided to reply and walked towards a nice, red cushion couch, swiftly collapsing on it and relaxing.
"Miss! That's a lot of money!" She looked surprised.
"Aw hell, who keeps that much money in a bank anyways? I thought he would 'a put it some some separate banks, or even put it in a bank that wasn't his. I guessed wrong though, he kept a load of money in the bank."
"...And... miss, how many people did'ya kill?" Irene hated it when Sophie had asked that every single night.
"Five," Irene grunted. She hated braggin' about her kills the most. It was not something to be happy about.
"Well, that's less than the last scramble," she sighed but had a slight smile, "You'd like some tea miss?"
"Yes please, Sophie," Irene had a faint smile. Sophie went to reach the antique, shiny white teapot sitting on the small table between them. She poured a small portion into a teacup similar to the teapot, and added a few sugar and cream.
"There you go miss," she said and handed it to her mistress. Irene drank it, the warmth traveling through her cold veins. Tea made her feel special, like she was the only person in the world. It was only the true thing that could comfort her the most during her hardships.
She looked up at Sophie. Sophie was staring at Irene with a discombobulated face.
"Is something the matter?" She put her cup o' tea down.
"'Fraid so miss," Sophie looked around and back at Irene, "Mrs. Rebecca and Mr. Lionel are coming to visit you soon."
"Hell! Sophie! I have to go change out of this dress," Irene groaned and jumped off the couch, looking paranoid.
"What is wrong with it?" Sophie grabbed Irene and looked at the front.
"The huge ugly blood stain on it!" Irene moaned and pointed directly at the blotch of red caused by a bloody nose.
"Here," she went out towards the kitchen. Something smelled good in there, which caused Irene to be excited for dinner. She came out with some pitcher of clear liquid.
"The hell is that?" Irene asked, noticing it was not water.
"Vinegar and salt. I use it on your outfits all the time to get the stains out in a jiffy," Sophie smiled and dabbed a small portion on the mixture on her pink dress. She scrubbed it until the dark spot was no more, and her dress normal.
"Well ain't you a magician," Irene cracked a grin. Sophie laughed.
"Does my hair look okay? I feel after a long night, it would be messy as hell," Irene asked.
Sophie gave a long look and hummed, "Well, the hair is perfectly fine. Your manners and your swearing could use some work though."
Irene cracked another smile.
"Ding!" The doorbell scared Irene as it chimed throughout the whole mansion. Irene sucked out a big sigh and headed to the door. She opened it with a false smile and false ambition.
There was her lovely sister. Her blonde-peach colored hair and freckles were the only pretty thing about her. She wore a long purple dress, and her hair was in a style that made her have bread rolls in her hair. Her husband, the tall, skinny Mr. Lionel, was nothing other than a rude dainty cowboy who knew only how to attract woman. Woman other than his wife of course...
Her sister was not her favorite family member, but not the least. Many a times, Rebecca would grab their mother along for dinner. Of course mother would hardly speak to Irene, but rather boast around her favorite child. If anyone really was to speak to Irene, it would be harassing or very childish.
"Oh Irene!" her sister hugged her with joy, "It's like I haven't seen you in forever!"
Irene took the slight hug and felt her sisters coldness of the skin, "I'm sorry. It must be getting very um, crisp and chilly outside. You're allowed to come in."
Irene glanced at Lionel. He winked as he walked in, a small flirtation that always annoyed her. Irene never fancied such a man. A man was to like one woman, not many, and was to respect the woman with all the manners possible.
As soon as Irene had allowed her guests in, she noticed the pile of money that was left on the table. Her widened eyes motioned Sophie to quickly shagg all the greens into the sack. Sophie quickly threw it across the room underneath a small table.
"Did I just see your servant just throw something across the room?" Rebecca asked curiously, pointing in the direction of the money.
"What? I never saw such a thing," Irene said blankly, keeping it cool.
"Oh," Rebecca replied quietly, "how... quaint."
"You know, I have always loved the particular shade of this house. It's an outstanding white," Lionel motioned his jaw in a curious motion that made Irene think he was making fun of her.
"It's white. Not a very sparking colour," Irene walked towards the dining room.
"Irene! Don't be so harsh," Rebecca said. She always had to back up the slob of a husband of hers, for what reason she did not know. Rebecca was either ignorant of their romance, or just plain stupid to notice he was cheating on her constantly.
"Please, do sit down for dinner," Irene ignored her comment and motioned them to sit down. She looked at lonely Sophie in the corner, "Sophie, please gather the maids 'round and tell them its time for supper."
"You allow your servants to sit at the table?" Rebecca sounded aghast.
"Yes, I do. Why?" Irene asked.
"They're filthy Irene, you shouldn't have those... those monkeys sitting around all over the table!" Lionel said.
The maids stopped behind the wall and eavesdropped on the conversation.
"They are my friends, I respect the ones who sit at my table. I do respect you, and now you must respect my friends. Ones who sit at the table must be respected and respectable," she shot a look at Lionel, "Anyone who does not do so is not welcome in my house."
Irene waved the maids over, and they sat in the table in silence, careful not to insult their guests further. Irene noticed the silence as the chefs placed their meals on the table, covered in fine silver, but decided that them talking would certainly only make things worse.
"What is for dinner anyways?" Rebecca broke the silent silence.
"Duck, miss, grilled with a red wine and some mashed potatoes on the side," Sophie smiled and the plates were revealed. Irene's stomach grumbled quietly at the beautiful sight of food.
"Huh," Lionel pretended to be interested as he stared at his plate.
"I thought you didn't drink sister?" Rebecca noticed the flaw in the cookery. It was true, Irene also despised any kind of alcohol, it turned people into who they weren't.
"I don't. Sophie recently found out that cooking the flavorful drinks I very well hate, it takes away the alcohol, causing only flavor, and not drunkenness," Irene smiled, sipping her newly poured tea, the best subsitution to alcohol. Although, one of the chefs did pour wine into their guests glass, which means they did have alcohol rolling around somewhere.
"Sophie?" Rebecca caused Sophie to look up, "Are you very intelligent?"
"I guess you could say so miss," Sophie smiled.
"Not very intelligent creatures you got here," Lionel smiled. Sophie frowned.
"Lionel! Please be respectful in my home," Irene corrected his mistake, "Sophie is one of the most intelligent girl in Tomoha."
"You mean our home," Rebecca quietly said, but Irene happened to hear it.
Irene choked on her duck, "Excuse me?"
"Yes, I mean. You couldn't keep this place up and running without our help and money," Rebecca smiled, she looked at the maids, "How much do you pay them?"
"I don't pay them at all. They have free-will to do what they wish in my house; and I can perfectly afford this place by myself!" Irene now started to get red with fury.
"With what? The money you steal? We've seen your wanted signs, your piles of cash in the living room!" Lionel outbursts his opinion a lot, which had Irene in a tangle. If she dared to argue back, she would be the one yelled at. However, she had to stand up for herself.
"I steal for a reason!" Irene shouted.
"And what is that?! For pleasure!? For the enjoyment of being rich and not even having to work for it!?"
"I do work for this! I put in my blood and sweat into this! This ain't some relaxing or luxurious journey. It takes dedication and training!"
"In what?" Rebecca asked, "Being an outlaw, a vigilante? Killing people?"
"You must steal for a reason, come'on now, tell us," Lionel grinned, finishing the rest of his duck.
"I steal for our father," Irene was out of her seat, she was no longer interested in finishing the rest of her dinner.
"Oh no, not this again," Lionel rolled his head around. Obviously he heard this excuse multiple times.
"You steal for our father?! Our father was a great man! Not a criminal! I think he'd be disappointed with you!" Rebecca was now out of her own seat.
"I'd think he would be with you! You snobby little...." Irene stopped where she was and sat down. Her appetite was gone, and she didn't want to say much anymore. It had fallen silent, except for the occasional clatter of the utensils used by the maids. The maids stared at Irene, knowing that she was upset. She was right in being angry, but Irene lacked the strength to fight.
"Well," Rebecca put her napkin on her untouched plate and stood up, "I have lost my appetite, shall we go Lionel?"
"Sure, just let me use your John' real quick," he got up in a hurry.
There was a longer pause as Irene stared at her plate, while she saw Rebecca staring directly at her. Irene could tell she was upset at such a short visit. Not even a half an' hour passed, but Irene didn't even want them there anyways.
Her voice was soft now, "We're sisters, why do we always have to fight?"
"Because we have different views of things," Irene whispered.
"Shouldn't we respect those opinions though?"
Irene gave her a look, "Why don't you give it a try?"
She scoffed and headed to the door, "You know what you need? You need a respectable man who can show you what it's like to be loved, the only problem is I don't think you could ever be loved by a man who is respectable!" She slammed the door and walked out. Lionel walked out and did a small sexual gesture before having to attend to his wife. Irene pointed to the door as he left, and then slumped down in her seat.
The hurt her more than anything else in the world.
Irene ignored her dinner as they left. The maids stared at her as she left the dinner table and walked up the long flight of stairs. Sophie stood, hoping she might comfort her friend, but Irene only glared at Sophie with a sad look. She calmly shut the door and locked it. She didn't want to be disturbed, not now... perhaps not until morning.
She stripped quietly into her nightgowns, and then slowly climbed into bed. The tears on her face stained her nice white pillow, and it made it harder to sleep. Her eyes closed as more tears came out slowly. She was only tearing up and not bursting into tears... and that made it worse. She hadn't cried in a long time.
She dreamed if there was a man out there, who could love her like Rebecca had described.