It had been five years since her world had been turned inside out. She had run to the only other person she knew, her Aunt Crystal’s home on the edge of town. Covered in her lover’s blood, feet torn wide, and looking like a wild animal broken from her cage, her Aunt’s butler ushered her into the back parlor.
Crystal never cared much for Lacey; she was too carefree and cheerful for her taste. Children and women should be seen and not heard. But it appeared she was the only thing that kept her brother from madness after his wife had died of pneumonia when Lacey was just a year old. For her brother, she tolerated Lacey as one would tolerate traffic on the cobblestone streets of town.
Lacey had just turned sixteen the week before that fateful night. Girls her age were courting and looking for a good husband to settle down with. But she was the daughter of a poor farmer, and had neither status nor any friends with which to travel in that type of circle. Kevin was the son of the neighbor’s field hand and they had grown up together playing between the farms; inseparable from the start. She was always happy and content in her life, never saw herself as less than the apple of her father’s eye, after all, what more did a girl really need?
Lacey knew she should be grateful to her aunt for taking her in that night and for helping field the authorities when they found the bodies of her Kevin and her father. She tried since that night to prove to her aunt that she was appreciative for her generosity. Five long years of service to her aunt, every evening from the moment she woke, until she collapsed in exhaustion the next morning. Lacey learned much about her aunt’s twisted pleasures, as well as the dark secrets that she had fallen into.
Crystal allowed Lacey to stay with her, but told her she would have to earn her room just like the other girls. It was then that she discovered her aunt’s business was entertainment and escorting for the fine gentlemen of the town. “While you are not pretty enough to be an escort, I am sure that you can be serviceable in other ways to the men.” Her aunt sneered at her, Lacey paled; tears welled up in her large eyes. Crystal seemed to enjoy the moment as Lacey started rocking back and forth, shaking her head in denial.
Stammering, Lacey begged her aunt not to force her into this. Crystal stood and looked down at Lacey, “You always did think you were so much better than everyone else you ungrateful whelp.” She spat out, and with a flourish of skirts she turned and went to the door. She paused, looking back at the girl covered in blood and near broken curled on the parlor floor, and a slow smile curled her painted lips. “You want a third option dear niece? Very well, you can become my servant, I suggest you get yourself cleaned up and rested. You will have a long night ahead of you tonight.” With a suddenness that was not human, Crystal was gone.