Chapter 2

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At breakfast the following day Ava finally met Lauren, who she suspected to be the only other employee besides George. She seemed to be somewhat younger than George, but not too much judging by the long grey hair wrapped up in a tight bun.

"Here's a map of the estate, try to memorize it so that you won't have to keep it on you all the time. I've marked all storage rooms here and the rooms are color-coded based on which ones should be cleaned more often. If you have any questions you can always find me on the ground floor," was the last thing she said to her before taking off, leaving the dishes to be done by Ava.

Since there were only the three of them, it wasn't a lot. After a few short minutes, everything was cleaned and put away, allowing Ava to start on her rounds. She inspected the map and determined it to be easy enough. The hallways were pretty straightforward and she was sure she'd remember it all in no time.

It was easy to fall back into her familiar rhythm. Vacuum the floor, dust the shelves, clean the bathroom, repeat. She was used to doing it and before she realized her day was over. She made her way back to the servant's quarters to be pleasantly surprised to see that Lauren had already served dinner.

"So," George started as she sat down while Lauren handed her a plate, "how did your first day go?"

"It went well, I think I know a good bit of the map by heart by now," Ava replied. "But, if I may ask, where is the master of this estate?" It was a question that occupied an increasingly large portion of her mind as the day went on.

"Mr. Chastain only occupies this home when he is on holiday or on special occasions. When he plans to return here I will give notice so that you may prepare the rooms in a manner that is appropriate for his return."

Ava didn't quite understand what he meant by preparing for his return, but she didn't really care. No master of the house meant no problems. No men yelling at her for being in their sight or hands trying to grope her.

"Does he have many homes?" Ava couldn't help but ask. Not only out of curiosity, but also in an attempt to make small talk.

Lauren was already nodding even before George could answer. "Mr. Chastain has as many homes as he needs to have, his work requires him to travel all over," George replied.

"He's in the energy business," Lauren added, "so depending on  what he's working at the moment he'll spend time at his home closest to his current project."

Ava nodded. She could only imagine how rich he must be to have so many homes with staff working even when he's not present. But a man like that probably is too busy to have any days off, so that would ideally mean she'd never see him ever. Or so she hoped.

She liked the way things were going now, there was no one to rush her into working inhumanely fast, and George and Lauren were nice enough. It was the most peaceful job she'd had so far.

The following days went by in a blur, she'd meet with George and Lauren for breakfast and dinner and slowly learned about their lives. She learned that while George didn't sleep in the servant's quarters, he did reside on the estate's grounds. His little home was on the edge of the property and was gifted to him by the current owner's late parents.

George even had a son named Stanley, though he lived in Europe and George would fly over during his vacation days to visit him. Apparently, George really liked talking about his son and it became apparent that he dearly missed him.

Lucky for him, he had another vacation coming up, allowing him to visit again. Unfortunately, Stanley couldn't visit his dad much due to the nature of his job but George couldn't be prouder.

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