|Subject: Chapter 196 - Part 1
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Date Posted: Wednesday, July 13, 07:34:18am
In reply to:
's message, "Dreams in the Dark - Chapter 193 and onwards" on Thursday, July 07, 07:06:24am
Dreams in the Dark (196/?)
by Katherine Gilbert
The day, really, was going fairly well--considering a few of her minor setbacks of late; she decided to count her victories. She had a chastened Michael and Nikita, watching their every step; a continuing bargain with Hillinger, and an ever-approaching date when her problems would finally be taken care of. If not perfect, everything was at least going relatively smoothly. This pattern only needed to continue for another couple of months before her victory would be complete.
Madeline was smiling about all this, as she made her way back to her partner's office after her discussion with Bauer--fairly content with the world. While the last week hadn't gone entirely to her plans, it had worked out well enough. Even if they weren't split entirely, she had managed to make her point to the star pair, would see that they remembered it. If they insisted on being together, no one they knew would be entirely safe; she almost laughed. But, then again, neither were they.
These truths were good ones, kept her smiling--even if she put off pondering her goal temporarily, thinking instead into her more recent success. It hadn't taken as many favors as she had thought to arrange her lesson to Michael, using his bastard child; the station had been running the contest anyway. The only change necessary was that they use this family's particular number to find their winner. After that, a little luck had seen to everything she had wanted to convey.
It was all quite satisfactory, had worked out surprisingly well, impressing her still. The family, bastard child in tow, had attended the show--strangely enough, seemed to even have been in contact with the pair earlier; knowing that made everything easier. Just one little arranged dinner, and the pair couldn't help but see that any contacts they had were in jeopardy, just by knowing them. It had only been too simple to make the message count.
She was rather proud of her work now, knew just how to twist the knife; it was a lifelong skill. Perhaps she had no plans against the family currently, but the reminder alone was enough. Michael, for all his supposed bravado, had a flaw, maybe a fatal one. He did have a child. And public knowledge of that fact could quickly mean the end of a career.
Still, this wasn't always the case; Madeline knew it. Since Michael had always traded on his sex appeal, it was possible that the knowledge of his son would only help improve his image as mad, bad, and dangerous to know--which always made the women come flocking. But it was Nikita, and his son's family, which he had to be truly concerned about. His fiancée’s clean image would have trouble withstanding the association--and his son's life would be ruined by the revelation, the results inevitable. There might be many bastards who had been born in this world, but none of the ones who had any chance acknowledged the fact at all.
She was contented with this lesson now, knew that the couple had received her message. Even if she were disappointed by their reunion, the closeness which seemed to have returned to them, they would still be cautious--her point made. Should they try anything too strong against her, she did hold a winning card. Not even Hedda would deny her with a story such as this.
Madeline couldn't know that the columnist was already aware of her potential bombshell, but she wouldn't have been concerned, even if she had. There were other resources--some of them only too ready to run such a story, if the studio let them. So many were just desperate enough to take the scandal on.
These facts were calming, aided her good mood--so much going right of late. Perhaps the day of her final retribution was still too far off, but she could have enough victories to please her till then. Eventually, the day would come, her plans working--and then Nikita would cease to be a problem for good.
The tutor cherished the thought of this victory, was living for it--so looking forward to having Michael as her plaything. Still, she could wait. Many a good plan went wrong by trying to rush it. It was much better to be patient and anticipate your rewards.
This was just as it should be, should never be questioned. Her mind calm, her plans set, then, her thoughts took on another direction, pondering the meeting she had just had. She had never really expected that Bauer would approach them, some of his earlier dealings with them not ending particularly well. Leaving a body on the lot wasn't exactly a small mistake which could be overlooked. It had been rather a surprise to get his latest request.
Still, it hadn't taken long to understand his reasons for calling once more, the man's memory not very long. Besides, he had quite an ego, probably thought they had enjoyed cleaning up his little mess. His favor this time wasn't too large, however--his discovery potentially helpful. It was possible, then--if he didn't cause any similar problems--that they might be able to do business again.
Madeline was rather pleased by this fact, had no particular qualms in working with the man; his various predilections meant nothing to her, were really quite common. The inclusion of the shadowy Mr. Formitz might be a bit of a twist, but even it seemed a little dull after awhile. It wasn't like he went after stars. And the general variety of dreamy-eyed little girls were an open invitation to all.
This fact had long been established in this town, no one much caring. From almost its very beginnings, young girls had flocked here, hoping for their chance. A man could have his pick of them--and they came in all varieties. Short, tall, thin, fat, light, dark, any age, any variety of hair and eye color, any background from the dewily innocent to the shockingly experienced--whatever a man wished for, it would be here, begging for attention. It was something like a buffet. All he had to do was choose--and then dispose of what was left as discretely as possible.
There was no denying any of this--even if Mr. Formitz tended to take such truths a bit more literally than most. While most of the usual run of discards crawled off into obscurity, or ended up in one of the city's many whorehouses, that man did tend to make their end a bit more complete. But these facts caused no problem for Madeline--caring little about any of these women. So long as they didn't end up on her lot, none of it mattered at all.
Still, she shouldn't have to worry about such annoyances this time; Bauer had promised, seemed intent on being more polite. That was enough, for now. If he failed them again, they could think about punishment. For the moment, his offer was probably worth considering.
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