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Virginia: Chapter Two

	Virginia thought she would die of boredom. She was sitting in her 
parent’s parlor with a man named Pierre Haineau. He was a banker fifteen 
years her senior and was telling her a story about what he considered 
to be an amusing incident that happened at the bank a few weeks back. 
Unfortunately, it was no amusing by any stretch of the imagination. Virginia 
continued to nod and smile at him and make interested “hmm” noises occasionally, 
but all she could think about was how her parent’s connections had not 
produced a single man who was interesting, charming, or even slightly 
artistic. She continued to drop hints to her parents that she might find 
someone along those lines to be good marriage material, but they were 
apparently too dense to catch on. It would appear that Virginia would 
have to suffer through many nights of tedious anecdotes. 
	After what seemed like an eternity, Monsieur Haineau finally announced 
that he had to be leaving. Bidding her bon nuit, he gave her a prim bow 
and left. Virginia heaved a heavy sigh and started to walk upstairs 
to her room.
	“Virginia,” said her mother behind her, “Tomorrow Monsieur Laroche 
will be calling.”
	 “Oh?” Virginia said, trying to feign interest. “And what does 
this Monsieur Laroche do?”
	“Why, he is an art dealer. Hopefully, you two will have something 
to talk about.”
	Virginia smiled and kissed her mother goodnight. At last! 

	The next evening, Virginia readies herself for Monsieur Laroche’s 
arrival. She wore her finest silk dress, pale lavender that complemented 
her pale complexion and blonde curly hair. She admired herself in the 
mirror. She had a petite frame that made her look younger than her 15 
years at first glance, but she had developed womanly curved over the 
last few years. She was looking forward to tonight. Hopefully, this 
Monsieur Laroche would be able to introduce her to some successful artists. 
She would try her best to win him over tonight.  She just hoped he had 
more interesting stories than all her other suitors. She was putting 
on the last touches of her elaborate up-do, when she heard the bell. 
She waited to hear the butler announce the arrival of Monsieur Laroche 
before making her way downstairs. She heard him greeting her parents 
and as she began to descend that staircase, she caught her first glimpse 
of him and gasped. He was impeccably dressed, even if his clothing was 
a bit old fashioned. He was wearing a long black jacket, which had obviously 
been tailored to fit. Underneath that, he wore a black shirt, a black 
brocade vest, and a red cravat. He removed his top hat and she noticed 
his hair for the first time. It was black and wavy, perfectly groomed 
so that it rested on his shoulders, framing his face. She caught his eyes 
and was thrown off guard by how deep a shade of blue they were. A sparkle 
came to his eyes as he suddenly smiled at her and bowed deeply.
	“Enchante, mademoiselle.”