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[CW] A Proposition
Member

191 Posts
9 Threads

Age: 18
Occupation: Courtesan
Registered: Dec 2021

#1
[CW: reference to child neglect]
 
Ruth tried to hide her nervousness as she sat in the private saloon in the back of Mrs. Howard’s tearooms, waiting for this Miss Penelope Wells. She had left her white kid gloves on to hide her sweaty hands. Booking the private saloon, a place she had only heard of before, was scary enough. She had never had tea in a tearoom, let alone in a private one. But Mrs. Howard’s daughter had asked no questions. Ruth had been dressed the part and had money to wave around. But she doubted dropping her children in the care of this Miss Wells would be as easy. She imagined more questions would be asked and Ruth had no idea how real toffs made these childcare arrangements. God, a regular school girl had corrected and copied her letter in a neater hand. She was on thin ice here.
 
But if she did manage to find a decent person to look after her children, she could cut ties with her family. She had dropped Sam and Lucy off at her parents’ place when she had started working at the Pony and even when she had moved into the delightful cottage that Magnus had arranged for her, she hadn’t picked them up. Magnus didn’t know about them and she wanted to keep it that way. Even Tilly didn’t know. But with each day her children remained in that filthy Tate Hill slum, the chance increased that the two worlds met. She’d still go and see her children, dressing down and hoping Tilly wouldn’t notice, avoiding questions from her father about how much she was earning and whether she couldn’t help out more, snapping back at insults instead to distract him. She couldn’t keep up this game much longer. And she hated seeing her children in that place. She wondered how she had managed it. Once she could find a place for her children, she’d never look back.
 
And so this morning, she had picked them up from her parents’ home – only James had been there to look after them, for fuck’s sake, but at least her father wouldn’t ask questions – had handed James some money for sweets in exchange for standing guard, had washed and changed her children with growing rage at her family’s incompetence, and had put them in the new sailor suit and dress she had brought. James had asked questions about her fine clothes and jewels and the clothes she had brought for the children. Ruth had told him to run away from home. A haircut and de-lousing session later, a perfectly groomed pair of children sat on the floor in the corner of the room fighting over a wooden toy train. “Stop that,” Ruth told then, which went completely ignored.
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