Write about promises that were broken.
“Well, though I thank you for you interest,” Marguerite said, standing and moving from behind her desk, “I will not put myself under the control of a man, no matter how devastatingly handsome and charming.”
Her polite, but firm nature usually served to force mannerly compliance from her guests, but the determined Scotsman currently dwarfing her delicate Queen Anne chair was not moved.
“What part of my proposal implied that I expected you to be under my control?” One eyebrow took wing to the fringe of coal black curls. “The exact reason I need you is because I am incapable of control in these matters. Far too soft, you see.”
This last was said with an entirely straight face. Infuriatingly, Marguerite could not tell if the double entendre was an unintentional slip, or a deliberate tease. That was the trouble with men. They could not approach the business of running a brothel with an appropriate attitude. Always they were one of two types: the bully, who beat his employees, drank and kept sloppy books, or the dandy, who preened, impregnated his employees and kept sloppy books. A man in a whorehouse was about as useful as a one-handed girl in a ménage a trois.
But which type was this man? His clothes were fine, his boots polished, and he smelled clean and sweet. These things would point to him being the latter. But his hands were rough, the skin over the knuckles cracked, and his face bore the golden hue of a man who has stared into the sun on more than a few afternoons. These things would indicate he was the former.
Marguerite shook her head firmly to reorder her thoughts. It did not matter what type of man this one was. She would not be accepting his offer. She made a business decision once on the back of a man’s promises, and it had taken ten years of striving to recover from the hole he had left her in. No, Marguerite Chanson would not make that mistake again.
“Monsieur,” Marguerite gestured delicately to the door she was holding open. “If you would be so kind, I have another appointment.”
“What would you say,” the Scotsman said, paying no mind to her dismissal, “if I were to propose a new kind of establishment. One where the girls, and boys for that matter chose their partners rather than the other way around?”
“Such is madness! What man would subject himself to the scrutiny?” Intrigued, despite her better judgment, Marguerite sat upon the matching chair. “How would the girls choose?”
A slight smile quirked the corner of Connors lips before he suppressed it and continued his sales pitch. “Imagine a ship, one that journeys the seven seas, from Calais to Barcelona, from Edinburgh to Boston. This ship is populated with Gods and Goddesses. Athena reclines in a bower, Apollo strolls the promenade. Thor, Hermes, Epona all of the deitys that ever were – given human embodiment.
“Now,” he continued, warming to his subject, “add the heads of state, the royalty, the nobility, the obscenely rich merchant class. These people must travel, and what better way to do it than in the lap of a luxurious ship, reclining with the Gods. What king wouldn’t thrill to be chosen for love by the Goddess of love herself?
“This is why I need you. This is why only Marguerite Chanson can fulfill my vision.”
In the wake of his enthusiasm Marguerite understood only one thing, she would ignore the warnings of broken promises and ruin in order to bring this shining vision to life.