A Cradle of Wolves

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XIX

Chapter Nineteen: Horseshit.

Constance sat at the head of the dinner table in the dining room; at the opposite head sat Julian. The only one that accompanied the siblings was Ana Mondragon as they all dined on an Italian dish. The chandelier above the table was dimly lit while candles were ablaze all around, bathing the dining room in a gentle warmth. A slight drizzle began to fall outside, gently hitting the windowpanes while the wind rustled the grass and rose bushes.

“Orlando!” Constance called out, breaking the silence. The butler hastily made his entrance and awaited his order by the door. “Where are my children?” she asked.

“They all ordered Amy to bring their dinner up to their respectable rooms.”

Constance remained silent, deciding not to show her disappointment. She dismissed Orlando after he had given her the notice of her children’s presence. She pushed her plate away and fixed her eyes on Ana, who sat without having said a single word as she looked over her full plate. “Are you feeling sick, my dear?” Constance asked.

Ana looked up at her interrogator. She mustered a smile. “Not at all. I’m feeling better than ever.”

Constance nodded knowingly as her eyes gleamed deviously.

“In matter of fact I’ve never felt any better,” Ana continued boldly. She thought about Theo and smiled even more, her cheeks flushing at the thought of him.

Constance set her fork down by her plate. “Well I’m glad your lover is making you feel good. Sadly, my son cannot do the same to you for obvious reasons.”

Ana was taken aback by Constance’s bold riposte. “Excuse me?”

Julian narrowed his eyes at the scene—his shoulder tensed while his countenance grew red with fury. He feared that in any second Constance would call him and Ana out on their illicit affair.

Constance saw her brother’s vexation and continued with more ferocity than before. “You must think that I’m stupid? That I wouldn’t connect two and two together, huh? You’re greatly mistaken! I saw those little lustful eyes of yours all on Theo at the courtroom. Why on earth would you want to sleep with the enemy? Much less that scoundrel! That slum-dog!”

Julian shot Ana a questioning glare. “Theo?”

Ana rose from her seat and slammed her hands on the table. “I haven’t slept with Theo if that’s what you’re all wondering!”

“But your eyes say otherwise,” Constance insisted. “When did you sleep with him exactly?”

Ana sighed, defeated. “Before…” she was ashamed to have ever slept with Theo in his state of poverty. But now she dreamed of sleeping with him in his refined, dashing state. She always wondered what it would be like if Theo was making love to her now that he was a rich man instead of the plebeian that he once was. Not like that mattered, but to Ana Mondragon it did. She wanted to experience having his lips all over while she lay back on his fine satin sheets in his grand bed.

“Before what?” Julian walked towards her. He tightly grasped her arm in a menacing hold. “Before what!”

Ana winced in pain while Julian pressed his fingers ever so tightly around her arm. “Before he came here to work!”

Julian turned his back on her, releasing his grip. He covered his face with his hands and shook his head, utterly affronted by Ana’s revelation.

“You cheap whore!” Constance quickly walked towards the girl, striking her with the back of her hand. “I want you out of this house immediately and away from my son.”

“What about the deal you made with my mother? My marriage with Booker was arranged on terms that with this marriage my mother would be free from my father’s debts.”

“I guess you and your mother will have to drown in your father’s debts then,” Constance scowled at the girl before she walked out of the dining room, leaving Julian and Ana to deal with their relationship woes. Constance laughed inwardly as she proceeded up the stairs. She saw the mortification that Ana’s revelation inflicted on Julian and reveled in it. Judging by his reaction, it was evident that Julian indeed loved the girl. If only he knew…

Nonetheless, the secret Constance had between her and Lisa Mondragon concerning Ana was another matter. Another matter that held no importance to Constance at the current moment. She met her reflection on a silver urn when she arrived at her mother’s room. Constance picked up the urn where her mother’s ashes were in, smiling malevolently at the object. Being liberated from you is the best thing that has ever happened to me. Not even the birth of Booker and Jennifer has caused me this much joy in my life.

Constance remembered all those times when her mother would berate her for being herself. She was always under the tyranny of Marie Edmunds so with each passing day her hatred for her mother grew even more. Constance loathed her mother so much that at age sixteen she fabricated the reason for her parent’s divorce, which in turn was the cause of her father’s death. She willfully entrapped her father into cheating on Marie Edmunds with a woman other than Ms. Rita. After setting her father up, Constance led her mother to see her husband in bed with this other woman.

Constance was the cause of her mother’s disability as well. At age eighteen she and Julian cut the brakes in their mother’s car, causing Marie Edmunds to crash into a tree at seventy miles per hour. It was a terrible accident, and unfortunately for the Edmunds siblings their mother lived.

“What are you doing with her ashes?” Julian asked, taking Constance out of her reverie.

Constance shot back. “What’s it to you? You never cared about her when she was alive so why care for her now that she’s dead.”

“Anyways,” Julian quickly changed the topic, “Where’s my money?”

“What money?”

“Don’t act the fool with me!” Julian rushed into the room and gripped her arms, pushing her onto the bed and pressing her down under the weight of his body. The urn fell from Constance’s hands and onto the ground with a loud clang.

“Get off of me now,” she said threateningly below him. “What would Booker or any of those insignificant children of mine think if they saw us right now?”

“I’ll tell them that their mother is a lying bitch. You promised me a portion of that will so now I’m telling you to give me what is rightfully mine!”

“You out of all people know that what we have isn’t truly ours,” she derided before she pushed him off of her.

Julian fixed the collar of his sweater and ran a desperate hand through his hair. “You’re going to regret the day you were born if I don’t receive my share of the will by two weeks’ time,” he said more calmly. His body nonetheless shook with fury.

“Instead of worrying about when you’re going to receive your money you should go and solve things out with your little plaything. Guess you weren’t the only one poking it in there all this time,” Constance shot back scornfully. She picked up the silver urn from the ground and left her enraged brother in the room behind her.

Constance walked down the stairs with the urn of ashes underneath one arm. When she made it downstairs, she stepped out into the backyard through the back door. The wind blew violently around her while it was no longer drizzling but raining violently. Thunder boomed above in the clouds while bright flashes of lightning illuminated the dark night. Constance trudged on towards the stables where the horses were at. The ground squished underneath her boots while her hair blew all over her face with some damp strands stuck to the sides of her face. She flung open the doors of the stables, scaring all the horses wide awake when she finally made it.

The horses gazed at her and neighed, utterly petrified. They shifted all over in their corrals as if a snake or hungry wolf had entered the premises, ready to devour each and every one of them. Water dripped from Constance when she entered while her boots and the black lace fold of her white dress were sprinkled with mud from her tumultuous walk.

Constance looked about with a smile while her gaze was filled with vengeance and abhorrence. Her teeth were clenched together, keeping them from gnashing and grinding on themselves. She took off the lid of her mother’s run and poured some of the ashes in the food supply of the nearest horse.

“You’ve always been horseshit to me but now you will fulfil your true purpose,” she muttered. She poured the ashes in each horses’ supply until the urn was completely empty. The horses, curious to taste what was poured in their food supply, hastily began to indulge. She then spun excitingly until she became dizzy, landing on the ground on her knees. The urn crashed into a faraway wall when she flung it from her hands. For once in her life she felt truly liberated and free.

Constance Edmunds had never felt as good as she did now. She was in a state of euphoria but while she was in this state of exhilaration, she plotted her next move. Who was to fall next? Theo von Draken, who posed a threat to her still? Or Julian, her brother who was growing desperate over his share of the will?

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