Angell Summer

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-I'm done bein' your puppet-

Third person's POV

"Miss McCarthy, may I present to you Mr. Summer, lately of St. Mali?" Matthew asked with decorum.

Angell held out his hand. " Mr. Summer." She inclined her head then as she might in an inside to the audience during a play, she explained. in a ballroom, a hand is rarely offered, Mr. Summer. He withdrew it and held it behind his back silence reigned for a moment before Matthew elbowed Angell in the side.

“Ah.” Angell cleared his throat and one corner of his mouth kicked up in a smile he clearly couldn’t repress. Might I have the Pl- honor of the next waltz, Miss McCarthy?. In spite of herself, Mimi found she wanted to smile in return but she controlled the urge and swept past him to the imaginary dance floor.

“So, we’ll say that I’ve asserted and the next waltz is imminent. You have approached me at the appropriate time and we are now on the floor. I curtsy to you, while you bow to me.

She dipped into a curtsy and watched as he executed a handsome bow. She allowed a small smile.
" fine.”

He moved towards her, her heart accelerated as she stretched out one hand and took up her skirt in the other, his left hand took her firm and dry while his right circled her waist at the familiarity of the contact, her throat constricted and she could not raise her eyes above his cravat.

The sensation was- she could think of no other word- delicious. She stepped away from him and he let go.

Mimi grasped. “I have been nothing but a firm in our lessons. ” she bristled. He gave another thump with a cane. I must disagree that you’ve been entertained, I can see that and maybe this project brings you some kind of pleasure that I don’t understand but I don’t see you being firm and I don’t see you being strict. Matthew’s small brown eyes burned with emotion.

“Matthew!” She protested. “What on earth had come over you?”

His mouth thinned into a line. “I’m sorry to put it so bluntly, Mimi but I’m having serious premonitions of doom, here we are in the middle of the country with no one and nothing we know to judge by and it's all seeming like something of a lark, isn’t it?” He ran a hand through his hair causing it to spike up at the part.

I’ll confess that even I have had a moment or two of enjoyment from the task but the closer we get to returning home, the more nervous I become. Mimi felt anger well up inside her. “You forget Matthew that Mr. Summer will be brought into society by me and my family, he will be presumed to be of the highest class and people will not scrutinize him to the degree that you and I do.

Matthew scoffed and threw out a hand towards Angell who was slouched in a chair watching them. "they won’t need to!"

Angell's eyes narrowed and Mimi again saw in her mind the swift and deadly movements that felled the stranger on the street.

“He’s been doing well,” she insisted, and I think you’re forgetting something else, Matthew. she continued, not tired of having to make this decision over and over again for all of them. “You’re forgetting Janis, you’re forgetting that we can’t return empty-handed now. Ultimately it doesn’t matter a whit if Angell Summer speaks with a southern accent or eats his salad with an oyster fork, he can go to a ball barefoot and dance like a leprechaun: it will be better than Janis having a child on her own. That cannot happen, do you understand me? I will not see my sister shamed. She stood trembling with suppressed rage before him with her hands fisted by her sides.

Matthew turned on her, undaunted. So instead you will see her shamed by marrying her to a nobody, someone so far below her station that if the truth were ever discovered she would never be allowed back into a decent society again.

“Maybe she shouldn’t be!” Mimi countered with her voice uncharacteristically shrill.

Matthew was aghast. “What are you saying?”

I’m saying that she has already done the unthinkable she has already secured herself a place outside of a decent society. By marrying her to a nobody as you so colorfully put it, I cannot drag her any further down than she’s dragged herself and could help in this situation, any husband is better than none at all.

Matthew straightened his back and puffed out his chest with a deep breath. “On the contrary, Mimi, I’ve come to the conclusion that the degradation of marrying so far beneath her can only make her troubles worse.”

“Worse? Worse?. Mimi flung her hands out to her sides. What could be worse than having an illegitimate child?”

Being married to an outcast, a drifter about whom we know nothing about, think about it, Mimi. remember that I've asked you before, consider if it were yourself. Would you marry him?

Mimi’s mouth was brought to a screeching halt and she became suddenly aware that Angell was still in the room his silence in the face of their argument held the weight of accusation.

She couldn’t answer. There was no way for her to answer and speak the truth, any sort of truth but she knew her silence was more harmful than a lie. She turned to Angell intending to say something to apologize for their rudeness to make excuses for their viewpoints but there were no words with which to do it.

He stared at her enigmatically, and she was frozen. Finally, he stood, his lean form unfolding from the chair with almost feline grace. “I’m sorry Miss McCarthy, Mr. Flynn.” His voice was hard, his eyes pale switches that lashes face Mimi then Matthew.

“But I don’t understand people at all and I’m done bein’ a puppet.” Mimi watched him walk to the doorway with his back straight, his head up with Matthew’s eyes also following him.

“What?” Mimi asked.

He didn’t turn. “You heard me,” he said.

When he reached the door, he flung it open so hard it clattered against the wooden chairs stacked nearby, knocking them back against the wall.

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