The knock came an hour later and she rose from her bed, noting the darkening sky outside and opened the door. Her father had taken a few steps away from the entry as they faced each other. His hand in his pocket and her hand on the door frame. Now was not the time to ask her questions, she kept her face clear of any emotion besides the hint of question still lingering in her eyes. "You can come downstairs if you want, but there is something I would like to talk with you about." She nodded and closed her door behind her, making sure it latched before walking after her father down the stairs, her hand resting on the handrail as she descended the stairs with her head high, a task she never forgot to do, even if she was only with her father, she still wanted her confidence to show. Once they were downstairs she turned her head to look outside the windows by the door, still seeing the car as she knew she would.
Once they passed the entryway, they made their way into the parlor, a small yet elegant room filled with more books on shelves and a few small statues on tables. The fireplace was constructed from a once piece of granite and had a secret engraving underneath that was requested that simply said "Actions vs Words." It was a saying created by her father. He believed that there were times where one or the other would help them out of a situation. An action or a word, it was up to one of them to decide which. Lena had always debated in her head which was more helpful. Words could convince a person of anything because of how gullible they were. Actions however what brought people's true personalities out into the open. The rest of the room contained furniture; velvet chairs perfectly arranged to face the others without being in a circle around the room. Her father sat in one of the chairs, away from the window, beside the empty fireplace and she took her place across from him on the other side of the fireplace.
She admired the way her father's suit was still pressed and as perfect as it had been when he got it not a few weeks ago. However a small red spot was on the glass of his watch. She pointed at it and he sighed, taking out a handkerchief and wiping it away, putting the cloth away again. "What did you need to talk about?" Lena asked, her back straight, leaning forward slightly from the back of the chair, one leg crossed over the other as she rested her arms on the arm rests, her hands hanging over the end. The skirts of the dress hung to the floor, acting like a waterfall from her legs.Mr. Morgan admired the way his daughter was so confident in herself despite not meeting a lot of people and getting to know them. She was indeed too much like him, he could see the fear she could strike in just her merciless eyes. He knew that she had a way about her that could not be controlled, she liked striking fear into others, she just needed her chance to do so. That was what he wanted to discuss, he wanted to start her training early, he knew she was ready.
"Your eighteenth birthday first is what I want to discuss. I know you do not want any sort of celebration and I am fine with that, but I believe you are ready to begin learning all that you want to know about what I do." He watched her eyes brighten slightly but she stayed still, keeping her composure and containing her excitement. That was what he needed, a partner who kept their emotions at bay. "I would like you to be a sort of apprentice to me at first. Then once you have learned enough then I will allow you to become my partner." She nodded once in understanding. "While I know very well you are my daughter, for this you are my partner. I treat you as an equal when there are no customers but I expect you to give me the respect I need when we work together. You will follow my rules and I will keep to yours. Understand?" He asked and she nodded again.
"Good, I will still require you to follow with the routine but this time you may stay in the office instead of leave. The story for your being there for private business is to simply be my assistant. You will not be my daughter for that." She nodded again, keeping her body still as her insides screamed with excitement but she silenced them by focusing on his words. She was not going to mess up on the rules, she followed them perfectly but she was much more use to making them. The idea of 'not being his daughter' did not faze her either, she was excited to be treated as she was right now. She was no longer a child, she was given special treatment and her father trusted her, that was what mattered most to her. She wished she had brought her journal to take notes, but she would have to memorize his words and write them down later. Her father continued to discuss all of his expectations. He wanted her to address him as Mr. Morgan when there were customers. He expected her to always be alert and focused at all times. She was to take notes of everything he showed her beyond his office.
The rest of the rules were simple, do not get in the way if he wished to do something himself and if she was asked to leave she was to go to her room immediately. Each rule she agreed to, knowing fully well that one mistake she made would announce she wasn't ready but she knew she was. She would be perfect, she would learn everything her father had to teach. He still did not go into specifics as to what he did to his customers, that would be for later tomorrow since his schedule was empty and he would only be given that chance to show his daughter all that he had to show. After their conversation she was dismissed to make dinner if she wished and of course she went to the kitchen, getting the necessary pots and pans for the meal, already having a recipe in mind. Fettuccine Alfredo with Spinach. She made her own sauce, having it simmer on the burner and the whole wheat pasta already in the boiling water as she chopped fresh spinach and tossed it in with the sauce as her father came into the kitchen, his suit jacket removed and his sleeves rolled up to his elbows. "Perfect idea," He said as he got out a bottle of champagne.
She looked at him as he got down two glasses from the china cabinet on the other end of the room and opened the bottle pouring each of the half a glass. As she waited for the noodles to finish she took her own glass, her dark nails against her pale skin elegant against the thin glass as they began a toast. "To our new partnership." He said with a smile and Lena smiled back, sipping at her champagne and checking on the food while he watched and followed her instruction to set the table. She kept a careful eye on him, knowing that he was not very good at the proper way to set a table but she was teaching him occasonally. Any other human being who considere themselves normal would think they were a strange married couple but neither had a ring on their finger and they both thought that sometime it would be interesting to see how someone would react if they thought she was his wife. It would just be another test of their motto 'actions vs words.' She stirred the sauce again until it was boiling and the plates were already waiting beside her as she put down their portions and poured the sauce over it, turning off the stove and bringing the plates and her champagne over to the table.
"Thank you, it smells wonderful." He said with a smile as she sat across from him and they began to eat, the sauce almost burning her mouth but that was exactly how she enjoyed it as she sipped at her champagne and fell under her own thoughts and plans. She would clean the kitchen obviously and then go back to her room to write down the notes, the rules were still replaying in her mind. They finished the meal in silence, both preoccupied with their thoughts. She would leave her questions for tomorrow. The sky was dark now, Rasputin more then likely would be by the shed if it started to rain and she would make sure he had enough food and water for the night. Her schedule went according to plan, the kitchen already being cleaned up as she made sure the counters were disinfected and the dishes done while her father went to take a shower. The silence was a way for her to fully travel deeper into her mind. How did she feel about being his assistant?
She was glad of course, she was getting the chance she had always wanted. She still had no idea what to expect. Did her father torture with devices or with promises of what he was going to do? It made her shiver with excitement, her first real release of her happiness of the opportunity. Once the kitchen and table were cleared and taken care of, she went outside into the cool night air, not calling for Rasputin, he simply came, his dark coat camouflaging him perfectly but he was clumsy on his feet sohe tripped by her as he licked her hand, tasting the hint of Alfredo on her finger she purposely left so he could have a small treat. His big eyes stared up at her as she led the way back to the shed where he darted in once she had the door opened and closed back behind her. The dog food was out of reach in case Rasputin wanted to knock it down as she stood on a stool to reach the halfway filed bag and brought it down. Rasputin sat in the corner, waiting patiently, his tail wagging and thumping on the ground, watching her pour the food into his bowl and once she was out of the way, she gave the signal for him to eat and he darted again to the bowl as she put the bag away.
She filled his water bowl and leaned down to kiss his head which resulted in him licking her cheek and she smiled, something she only did when she was around a pet, she was serious too often sometimes. She spent a few minutes sitting on the floor of the shed, petting and playing with Rasputin, tossing a ball down to the other end of the shed while he bounded after it. She laughed when he would run past it. The shed was large, about the size of an average garage with a tool box on one of the shelves that lined the walls. Empty flower pots were stacked according to size under a bench as Rasputin passed them to drop the ball in her hand, panting happily at her and she tossed it again, hitting the wall on the other end. She kept up with the game until he dropped the ball in her hand a finally time and went to his water bowl which she refilled again before petting him and closing the shed door and going back into the house, keeping aware of her surroundings in case someone tried to sneak up on her. She locked the front door behind her and went back to her room, locking her bedroom door next and closing the curtains before taking off her dress and putting it in the hamper and the belt back in her closet. and turning on her shower, pouring in some lavender bath salts to clear her senses that still felt like eyes were on her.
She intended to write her notes after the shower, setting under the water and closing her eys to smell the lavender better while her home made shampoo and conditoner was worked into her scalp and she once again played the rules over in her head while she showered, and wrapped a towel around her once finished, staring back at the pale yet sightly frightening women back in the mirror.