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Old 11-01-2010 at 05:56 AM
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Bibliotheque Sainte-Genevieve [4]  Post [1] »



b i b l i o t h è q u e . s a i n t e - g e n e v i è v e
Located on the Montagne Sainte-Geneviève, a hill on the left Bank of the Seine in the Ve arrondissement of Paris, the library Sainte-Geneviève is truly a sight to behold. Often times the Neo-Grec styled building is crowded with students from La Sorbonne and other nearby universities, but if you're lucky enough to enter on a less-populous day, you'll be greeted with a clear view of the architecture of the great Henri Labrouste.

The library has a ground level, or grand hall, and a reading room equipped with shelves that reach all the way up to the ceiling. Lounge around in one of the many comfortable seats, or find your favorite book among the thousands that line the walls. Just don't be too loud!

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  • Have fun and enjoy!
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Old 01-07-2011 at 05:40 PM
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OOC: Mashton, as promised! BIC:

Madeleine de Chandon

Madeleine did not like books. The bedtime story ritual most children in the Western world were familiar with was not exactly something she’d been blessed enough to have. If Blanche wasn’t too drunk to read, she was too tired or too sore or too busy. In fact, when Madeleine first started school, her reading level had been pathetic for someone who was as verbal as she was. Teachers had been concerned. Madeleine spoke well. And a lot. She was bright. But hand her a book and five year old Madeleine Ledoux was suddenly struck mute and stupid. She learned quickly once she caught on. But books had been an embarrassment then. And later, Madeleine had channeled her energy into more physical pursuits—dance in particular. Reading was a necessary skill for household-y things, but not for what she wanted to really do. Leisure reading came in the form of magazines. Madeleine owned a couple of books, predominantly for show. But, honestly, it wasn’t her thing. Reading meant sitting still for long periods of time, investing your emotions in people who did not exist. She was too restless to curl up on the couch for long enough to finish a novel. And she had enough people in the real world who she was investing emotions into. Myron, Maureen, Aryeh… She’d come to care for the old man in the months since they first met. He was funny and filled with entertaining—often pertinent—anecdotes. The nursing home people still seemed to believe she was his daughter. And maybe they were rubbing off on her a little. Madeleine never had a father. But she was pretty sure if she did, her daddy would have been the one she cried to when her first engagement to Myron fell through. And her hypothetical daddy would have been the one who needed to examine Myron. And her hypothetical daddy would have gotten the gleeful squeal Madeleine gave Aryeh as she showed him her new, shiny engagement ring the day after Christmas. In fact, Aryeh had been doing a lot of things that daddies did for their grown daughters. And in exchange, Madeleine visited him, tried to cook for him, and made housecleaning attempts around his flat. He knew more about Madeleine’s life than anybody—except Myron and Madeleine herself—did. And he remembered a lot for someone who had just turned eighty years old. Madeleine listened to him, too, enthralled. But a lot of times, she missed the full picture of Aryeh’s stories.

And that was the reason Madeleine was in the library.

She’d figured out that what she affectionately called his “Martian Space Language” was actually not gibberish. It was a language. A real language called “Yiddish”. Honestly, Madeleine would not have guessed. At one point, she thought it was early stage dementia or something and had scheduled him an appointment with her doctor downtown. An appointment she’d cancelled after she saw a primly dressed woman call out to her daughter in the park.

“Mommellah,” the woman called out. “Get down from there and help me with your brother.”

Mommellah. It was a word Aryeh called Madeleine a lot. Her dark brows drew together and Madeleine made her way over to the woman.

“Excuse me,” she said. “But what did you call your daughter? It’s a lovely name.”

The woman laughed.

“That’s not her name,” the woman said. “It’s just a term of endearment from parent to daughter.”

“But what language is it?” she asked.

“Yiddish, goyeh,” the woman answered, this time a little weary. “Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve a child to catch.”


So now Madeleine had a name for the language, but a whole slew of words to look up.

Goyeh.
Bashart.
Alter cocker.
Ribono shel ‘Olam.


She’d been compiling a list of Aryeh-isms. Yiddish phrases he used. Today was the day she learned what they meant. And maybe… Just maybe… She’d learn the Yiddish word for “Daddy” to use on Aryeh next Wednesday. Hopefully it wouldn’t give him a heart attack or something. Madeleine made her way through the Bibliotheque Sainte-Genevieve, stack of language books piled in her arms. She bypassed her usual standby of the college-boy-table and found one that was mostly empty, save a pretty, petite blonde. Madeleine set her books down with a slightly loud thud as she looked at Ashton Greene disbelievingly.

“God, I just run into you everywehre,” she said, not caring that she was supposed to be quiet. “Are you following me or something?”

Her brown eyes crinkled slightly with amusement and a grin pulled at Madeleine’s lips. She pulled out the chair beside Ashton and sat down.

“Because we’ve got to stop meeting like this.”
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Old 01-09-2011 at 01:56 AM
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Ashton Greene

Ashton didn’t hate reading. In fact, she was truly, madly in love with the idea of books. She owned several, all of which she intended to read someday. But at the moment, they sat back in England, collecting dust, and yellowing with neglect. If her father even bothered going into her bedroom, he might throw them out, and Ashton would one day buy them all again and repeat the process.

Speaking of books, she was supposedly in college. She was surprised her father hadn’t noticed she didn’t buy course books. She was surprised he wasn’t tracking her purchases.

She thought she owned a lot of books, but right now, the books about Political Science she was checking out were stacked up higher than she was tall. She had laid out before her a paper with a rough draft started. Dear Father was all on it, along with a few doodles and many loose ink splotches. She flipped through the books before her. None of the words made sense to her. If she was actually taking a class on this, they still wouldn’t make sense. She needed a distraction,

“God, I just run into you everywhere. Are you following me or something?” Ashton’s head shot up from the pages of the book to see Madeleine. A smile spread across her face enthusiastically. A distraction. Her prayer was answered. Now if only God will answer my prayer about my marriage…

“Because we’ve got to stop meeting like this.” Madeleine said, sitting down.

“Yes,” Ashton said, snapping close her book with too much gusto. “I’m following you. Which is why I was here before you.”

Ashton glanced at the bundle of books Madeleine held in her arms. “I see you’re learning Yiddish. How’s that going?”


If I can't hear the music, and the audience is gone,

I'll dance here on my own.


Banners by Rose, my sister, and me.
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Old 01-12-2011 at 06:21 PM
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Madeleine de Chandon

For all her lack of scholarliness, Madeleine had a special fondness for the Latin Quarter. For her, the whole of the Latin Quarter was a refuge from the people she saw every day. Hoity-toity opera types didn’t frequent the zone of the city dedicated to students. Rouge girls, certainly, were not common faces around these parts. Even past conquests from her younger, more sexually adventurous years seldom turned up in the Latin Quarter. In the past, Madeleine could trek across town, go unrecognized, and enjoy “sick” days without being caught. Even if she couldn’t quite get away with all that anymore, one thing remained the same. Madeleine always came across the most interesting of people in the Latin Quarter. Sometimes, she’d spot a street musician and strike up conversation. Other times, she’d join a study group and observe, taking casual notes and learning little bit of philosophy or law. And sometimes, Madeleine ran into one of her employees. This would be time number two Madeleine stumbled across Ashton outside the workplace. Last time had proved fascinating. The petite blonde turned out to be a prettily wrapped scandal. The girl was head-over-feet for her father-in-law or something and seemed to be devising either a plan to fall out of lust with him or looking for a no-guilt way to bed him. Either way, that little gem of a confession popped out of Ashton’s mouth in a church. Obviously, Ashton Greene knew how to make those places of holy, silent reverence more fun. Maybe she could do the same for the local library. Already, the Brit was smiling at Madeleine. That was a good sign. Or, at least, it should have been. Madeleine couldn’t be one-hundred percent sure, but Ashton’s smile lacked maliciousness. It wasn’t quite impish either. But it was getting there. Impish, not malicious…

“Yes,” Ashton said, snapping close her book with too much gusto. “I’m following you. Which is why I was here before you.”

Sarcasm. Not the most original of greetings, but definitely better than a defensive “No, Mademoiselle de Chandon! I was just blah blah blah.” Madeleine smiled, not toothily and propped herself against a book to face Ashton better. Ashton’s eyes flicked to said book and she scanned the title.

“I see you’re learning Yiddish. How’s that going?”

“Let’s see… It’s… How do you say…? Ah, yes.” Madeleine snapped her fingers in faux-remembrance. “Oy veh.”

Truthfully, Madeleine hadn’t quite begun her quest for knowledge, but it looked daunting. She was sure that if she got something wrong, she’d say something offensive. And she didn’t want to beg Aryeh for help. Surely, they both had better things to do than go through the motions of a language lesson as Madeleine botched his mother tongue.

Her eyes wandered over to Ashton’s stack of books. It looked to be the height of a small person and Madeleine’s lips curled with amusement as she realized the subject matter.

“Political science?” she murmured, lifting a brow. “Well, I suppose Machiavelli could do you some good at the Rouge…”

Madeleine looked up. She grinned, exposing her white, straight teeth. Madeleine didn’t know much about government, but politics, she could grasp. You know, the ambitious, backstabbing and frequent double-speak? Maybe in a past life, Madeleine had been a politician or a woman in one’s ancient or medieval court. She relished in interpersonal games and though she found things like the economy and immigration to be a snooze-fest, debate and the general idea of politics fascinated her.

“Should I be worried that you’re planning a coup d’etat underneath my nose or are you just doing a little light reading?”
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Old 01-16-2011 at 12:12 AM
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Ashton Greene

Ashton loved books. She loved the smell of paper, inked with words and touched by countless strangers, leaving a story that went well past the printed one. Ashton loved books. She loved stories and she loved how honest the author was when safely tucked behind a named and a plot.

How ironic.

Ashton hadn’t had much time lately to read any books (and all of the books she owned were back in London with her father). It was a pity all her free time with books was spent spinning a story (a story built off a lie), doing research to give her fib substance and reasonability.

Ashton loved the idea of books. She liked stories and knowledge and witty exchanges. She liked the idea of curling up after a long day and forgetting about her troubles, and replacing them with the triumphs of the protagonist’s. But all the books that surrounded her now had no protagonist, no plot, and no fascinating story. Just facts. Just cold, hard facts. Cold like her father and hard like forced marriages. It was ironic that they were facts, considering she was using them to spin lies. Not even half-truths. Down right, twisted lies.

Not to mention, it was Political Science. Ashton suddenly envied Madeleine for learning a foreign language. Those were the fun kind of facts.

“Let’s see… It’s… How do you say…? Ah, yes.” Madeleine snapped her fingers in faux-remembrance. “Oy veh.”

Ashton wasn’t aware that ‘oy veh’ was an adjective.

“Political science?” she murmured, lifting a brow. “Well, I suppose Machiavelli could do you some good at the Rouge…”

The corner of Ashton’s lips rose a bit, her tired eyes lighting up with humour.

“Should I be worried that you’re planning a coup d’etat underneath my nose or are you just doing a little light reading?”

Coup d’etat. She knew those words. “stroke of state.” But that was merely linguistically. She read that word somewhere. Somewhere buried in the mountain of facts was that vocabulary word.

It came to her.

’the sudden, illegal deposition of a government’ is what the book said. And Ashton laughed.

“You call this light?” Ashton asked, motioning to the stack of books that seemed to be getting bigger.
“What about you? Are you planning a bar mitzvah or is the Rouge being turned into a Synagogue?”


If I can't hear the music, and the audience is gone,

I'll dance here on my own.


Banners by Rose, my sister, and me.
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Old 01-18-2011 at 04:48 AM
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Madeleine de Chandon

Ashton laughed as Madeleine spoke. Maybe stand-up comedy was another past-life calling of Madeleine’s or something. She totally believed in reincarnation. Well, not totally, but as “totally” as Madeleine let her religious convictions get. In any case, she was glad to be something of a break from the studious stack of books Ashton had.

“You call this light?” Ashton asked, motioning to the stack of books that seemed to be getting bigger.
“What about you? Are you planning a bar mitzvah or is the Rouge being turned into a Synagogue?”


“Hah,” Madeleine huffed, shaking her head. “No… I’m just…”

She paused, cocking her head. How did she explain what she was doing? Yiddish wasn’t an everyday language. It wasn’t like it was widely spoken throughout Paris. Madeleine was only learning it for Aryeh, anyways.

“It’s a long story. But…” She sighed. “Someone really important to me is Jewish. I’m learning for his sake.”

She wanted to say that her father was Jewish and she was learning to understand him better. But, like she said, long story. Aryeh wasn’t her biological dad. He wasn’t her father-in-law. He wasn’t her uncle or grandfather or adoptive parent. He was an elderly man who was her responsibility. He was a friend—a very dear friend—who she considered a father figure. The first real father figure Madeleine had ever known. When she was a girl, she knew instantly that none of Blanche’s boyfriends were daddy material. Drunks, gamblers, and bums, the lot of them. And in the theater, Madeleine found occasional substitutes. The stage manager when she was a teenager would examine the boys and men she brought back to the Bastille. Granted, that might have had more to do with his concern that he’d find said boys and men backstage, naked, entwined with Madeleine while she was supposed to be performing. There had been a dance instructor, too. A gay, Soviet refugee who taught Madeleine to pas de deux and to flirt without descending into the “skank” category Blanche had firmly lodged into. But Aryeh was nothing like anybody in Madeleine’s past. He genuinely cared without trying to reap benefits. He listened, dispensed advice, made her laugh, cooked for her. She was sure that he would be the one to give her away to Myron when the wedding ceremony eventually arrived. Madeleine wanted to earn that. She wanted to be the best damn daughter he ever had. And she would be attentive and loving and way better than his older, more egocentric daughters who left poor Aryeh to rot in his apartment with his opera column.

“But my question,” Madeleine said; face lighting up when she looked over at Ashton’s books again, “Is why on earth you’re studying politics? Trying to impress someone?”

She grinned, wondering if maybe Ashton was trying to make herself worldly-wise about current affairs to stay on-level with the older man she had her eye on. Madeleine knew nothing of Lucian Michaud—save that he was forty-six and Ashton’s (almost) father-in-law. But if Madeleine could hazard a guess, it was that the guy was more interested in things like human rights and the shifting socio-political climate than Snooki’s latest arrest, Lady Gaga’s new album, and whether or not Brangelina were adding another baby to their child-army. Maybe Ashton wanted to be less dumb-Rouge-girl and more cultured-and-fascinating vixen. Madeleine had been there. She’d been about her age, too. Ironically, the Frenchwoman had been in Ashton’s native England at the time, trying to secure a lover from the upper-echelons of society so she didn’t have to live in the near-poverty Blanche did. The plan ultimately failed. In truth, Madeleine didn’t care so much about weighty international affairs as much as she did about microcosmic affairs between coworkers and friends. She couldn’t help but be that tunnel-visioned ballet tart. Pretending to be anything else had just been silly. Hopefully, Ashton would learn that fast.

Or, at least, be more successful than Madeleine had.
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Old 01-18-2011 at 06:16 AM
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Ashton Greene

Ashton enjoyed her conversations with Madeleine. She had a sharper tongue and a sharper wit than Ashton. She had a flatter stomach and a more blessed bust, plus she had the confidence to make any audience bow adoringly at her feet. Ashton was envious, yes, but she was also inspired. In five years, maybe that would be her. No. Not maybe. Ashton would make sure of it. In five years, she’d still be engaged (God only knew how long she and Damien would be able to avoid marriage), and dominating any stage she deigned to perform on. By that point, the surgeon she planned on seeing would know her well, and she would be the paragon of performer. It was a set in stone goal, subject to change whenever Ashton felt necessary.

“It’s a long story. But…” She sighed. “Someone really important to me is Jewish. I’m learning for his sake.”

Ashton wondered who. Was it a lover? If so, how did boss man boyfriend Myron feel about that? Myron didn’t seem to be the kind of man to know Yiddish. But you could never judge a book by its cover. Was it a long lost child? Not likely, but would make for a thrilling novel of some sort.

Ashton was about to ask, along with offer up some solutions the concluded when Madeleine cut her off.

“But my question,” Madeleine said; face lighting up when she looked over at Ashton’s books again, “Is why on earth you’re studying politics? Trying to impress someone?”

“The exact opposite, actually,” Ashton said, snapping shut the book before her. “I’ve realised setting out to impress people is a waste of energy. You need to let people be impressed naturally. Fortunately, I don’t have to try too hard at that,” Ashton said, a wink in her voice.

“Actually,” Ashton said, leafing through another book, “I’m trying to convince someone I’m studying this. I’m not, but what he doesn’t know won’t kill him. It’s not to impress him. It’s actually to stay in Paris.” She smirked up at Madeleine. It was a conniving, manipulative thing she was doing. It was all for personal gain. It was to fuel a grudge she held for her father. It was evil, it was mad, it was risky. And it felt good.


If I can't hear the music, and the audience is gone,

I'll dance here on my own.


Banners by Rose, my sister, and me.
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Old 01-18-2011 at 06:30 AM
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Madeleine de Chandon

Madeleine couldn’t find the words to explain Aryeh. Besides, it was nothing too spectacularly fascinating. It was actually a little pathetic, that after more than thirty years on this green-and-blue planet, Madeleine was still trying to fill the gap her unknown father left. She said she was independent. And anyone who contradicted her on that would be slapped across the face. But, honestly… Aryeh gave Madeleine the precious affirmation that maybe she was making a better life than the one her Maman had known. Maybe she would be fondly remembered by others. He gave her a parent’s love that she always needed, but could never find. If she tried to put that into words for Ashton, Madeleine might start crying and… yeesh. She just turned into the Red Puff Monster when the waterworks started. It was better to inquire after Ashton’s insane reading list. Her story was probably more interesting, anyways, and a lot less sappy.

“The exact opposite, actually,” Ashton said, snapping shut the book before her. “I’ve realised setting out to impress people is a waste of energy. You need to let people be impressed naturally. Fortunately, I don’t have to try too hard at that.”

The confident lilt in Ashton’s voice brought a full-out grin to Madeleine’s full lips. God, the girl was bright. It took Madeleine years to learn that lesson. It took Madeleine until Myron, actually. Jeez… That also sounded extremely dependent and gushy.

“Actually,” Ashton said, leafing through another book, “I’m trying to convince someone I’m studying this. I’m not, but what he doesn’t know won’t kill him. It’s not to impress him. It’s actually to stay in Paris.”

“Is this your fiancé or your scandalously older lover you’re pulling a fast one on?” Madeleine asked, a soft, teasing cadence to her voice. She leaned forward, elbows propping her arms up, fists propping up her chin. She licked her grinning teeth and quirked a brow. Yes, Ashton’s life was far more interesting than Madeleine’s own…
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Old 01-19-2011 at 03:27 AM
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Ashton Greene

“Is this your fiancé or your scandalously older lover you’re pulling a fast one on?”


Ashton threw her blonde head back and laughed. “You’re a funny one, aren’t you?” Ashton asked, wiping a humorous tear from her hazel eyes. “Lucian’s not my lover,” Ashton said, a knot forming in her chest. “And he’s not scandalously older. He’s… learned.”

That probably wasn’t the word she was looking for, but it made her feel better than ‘scandalously older’. The scandal, if anything should have happened in that study, wasn’t his age; it was the fact that he was her fiancé’s father.

“And neither, actually” Ashton said, her voice lilting a bit as she shook her blonde curtain of hair. “It’s my father who thinks I’m going to school here. When I go to rehearsal, I tell him I’m going to class or to study. When I perform, I tell him it’s a test.” Ashton put her head in her hand, not tearfully, but casually. “I know, it’s horrid. But I don’t care really. It keeps him from stopping my dancing and my music, and frankly, that’s really all that matters.”

Ashton wasn’t going to get philosophical. She wasn’t going to get weepy. There was no need. She pushed the book in front of her away and folded her hands on the desk. “Do you come here often? No offense meant at all, but I wouldn’t exactly take you for a library frequenter. I mean, typically, one has to be quiet in libraries.” Again, meant as a light hearted joke. And the smile in Ashton’s eyes amplified that, she believed.


If I can't hear the music, and the audience is gone,

I'll dance here on my own.


Banners by Rose, my sister, and me.
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Old 01-22-2011 at 09:10 PM
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Madeleine de Chandon

There was something sinfully delicious to Madeleine about Ashton’s taboo infatuation with this mysterious father-in-law of hers. Madeleine knew nothing beyond Ashton’s feelings, her relation to the man, and that he was forty-six (“To be exact”, Ashton said in the church). But in her mind’s eye, Madeleine had somehow put an image of George Clooney in place of this guy. The quintessential, hot, older man. She suspected that he was French by the name, so to Ashton, he’d be foreign. Probably cultured… Maybe a professor? An artist? Something intelligent and classy and perfectly equipped for trysts with girls in their twenties. She could see the appeal he had for Ashton. The dangerous, sexy, mature allure. There had been men in Madeleine’s past who were like that. None lasted, but each short-lived relationship had been good for her in a way. She’d been forced to grow up through them, discard rosy idealism… Blahblahblah. But, let’s face it. A man like that was well-practiced. They’d been good for Madeleine in other senses, too. Maybe this Lucian Michaud guy would do the same for Ashton.

But instead of smiling dreamily and nodding, Ashton through her head back and laughed.

“You’re a funny one, aren’t you?” Ashton asked, wiping a humorous tear from her hazel eyes. “Lucian’s not my lover,” Ashton said, a knot forming in her chest. “And he’s not scandalously older. He’s… learned.”

Ah… ’learned’

Madeleine grinned, but she was a little disappointed that Ashton didn’t have some steamy news to report.

“And neither, actually. It’s my father who thinks I’m going to school here. When I go to rehearsal, I tell him I’m going to class or to study. When I perform, I tell him it’s a test.” Ashton put her head in her hand, not tearfully, but casually. “I know, it’s horrid. But I don’t care really. It keeps him from stopping my dancing and my music, and frankly, that’s really all that matters.”

Ohh. So her Daddy Dearest wasn’t so “dear”. Interesting… Madeleine wondered if he was some puritanical freak who thought song and dance were from the devil. And, then, she wondered what said puritanical papa would think of Ashton’s routines in particular. In Madeleine’s book: the raunchier, the better. And she applied this mantra to Ashton particularly. The girl was cocksure and sexy. Not that Madeleine was, you know, undressing her with her eyes or anything. She wasn’t a total perv. She just knew what looked good and what didn’t. Anyways… Point was, Ashton’s routines were particularly risqué and Madeleine wondered if that was good or bad for her. Good for her rebellion, no doubt, but if her dad found out…

Ah, screw it. She’s adult. If her dad finds out, he’ll just have to accept that fact.

“Do you come here often? No offense meant at all, but I wouldn’t exactly take you for a library frequenter. I mean, typically, one has to be quiet in libraries.”

Madeleine snorted.

“You have to be quiet in churches, too, and frankly… Neither of us were.” She grinned toothily. Then, shrugging, added, “I come to these places because no one looks for me here. Not my boyfriend, not my boss… Same thing, really… but my friends and coworkers, critics and stuff…” She trailed off expressively. The Latin Quarter was for Madeleine’s me-time. A mischievous look sparked in the Frenchwoman’s eyes. “But, now that you know my secret… I’m going to have to kill you.”
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