It was still dark outside the windows of her office, the only light from the lamp perched on her antique mahogany desk. Black-tipped nails traced the edge of her espresso mug, steam slipping past her fingertips. Hair like shadows shifted around her shoulders, darker than the last vestiges of night clinging to the earth. Her eyes were burning coals in the pale of her face; the only color was the blood red stain precisely painted on her lips.
It had taken years of planning, careful hedges and sweeping gains, but Morgan was so close she could taste it. Business conglomerates called her for even scraps of advice while world leaders ate out of the palm of her manicured hand. Stock markets rose and fell at the whim of her wardrobe; there had been considerable fuss the day she had discarded her Anna Sui for a simple Gap t-shirt. There were only a few more pieces to put into place, and Morgan Faye would have the world in the pocket of her Maison Kitsune trousers.
Her phone buzzed on her desk. Unthinking, she swiped across the screen; she had been expecting confirmation from one of her lieutenants.
A picture of a smiling baby greeted her, apple cheeks dimpled and blue eyes bright.
Her thumb hovered over the image. Her mouth split into a grin, and her cold eyes became warm as embers, her snow skin melting into spring. The first rays of dawn slid through the windows, surrounding her like a halo.
She remembered herself a moment later, huffing in annoyance, fingers typing quickly.
Morgan: Ugh, Gwen, stop your child she is ruining everything.
Her phone pinged; it sounded like her sister laughing.
Gwen: If by ruining you mean bringing sunshine, then yes
Morgan: Your child is still a life ruiner
Gwen: Why? Does she make you want babies ;)
Something in her gut shriveled in revulsion, only to be smoothed out like sugar at another picture of her niece. This time she was chewing on her fist and grinning at the camera like she knew her Aunt Morgan didn’t have time to be turning into a puddle of goo.
Morgan: No. She melts the blackness of my heart. It is inconvenient for world domination.
Gwen: God, she is such a jerk. I’ll tell her to cool it on the adorableness.
Morgan: You do that. I’m not going to get anything done otherwise.
There was a knock at her door before one of her security guards peered in. Her face instantly transformed into a beautiful, stone mask, the light streaming from the window turning pale with cold.
“Miss Faye? The board is here. They’ll be waiting in the conference room.”
She nodded, dismissing him with a wave of her hand. When the door was shut behind him, her face warmed again, spring blooming pink in her cheeks as she checked her phone again.
Gwen: You could use her in your domination campaign. She can be your Trojan horse. Everyone will be distracted by the cute.
Morgan tilted her head, contemplating the possibility. Her plans were usually webs of elegant subterfuge, but there was something of merit in disguising the takedown of the most powerful people in the country in the happy cooing of a baby. She considered most of them petulant children anyway, so it was karmic retribution.
Morgan: That’s not a bad plan. She would make an excellent minion.
Gwen: My baby is not going to be a lowly minion. How about a loyal second?
Morgan: Maybe when she’s able to hold her head up for more than five seconds.
Taking the last sip of espresso, Morgan rose from her chair to smooth down the front of her pencil skirt. She tucked her laptop into her Prada briefcase, smoothing her hair into submission. It wouldn’t do to keep the board waiting. Even if most of them were insufferable, they were still necessary at the moment.
Her phone buzzed again.
Gwen: It’s like a whole ten minutes now. Seriously, what kind of aunt are you?
Morgan pursed her mouth, thinking about it, before smiling bright as the dawn that had finally broke.
Morgan: The kind whose niece can look to for fashion tips and how to rule the world.
Gwen: I think the world is a little big for a six month old. How about an island to start?
She laughed, slipping her phone on silent and placing it into her briefcase. When the security guard opened the door for her, she was no longer laughing, though her blood-red mouth was just slightly quirked upwards. Her heels clicked on the floor, a rhythm like war drums, as the employees passing her by averted their gaze in reverence.
In the conference room, the board greeted her with hushed respect and a tinge of disdain. Her smile was like a knife; she feasted on men such as this.
“Well, gentlemen,” she crooned, “let us begin.”
She took out her notebook, poised to continue her domination of the known world, and paused just long enough to write:
Island?? for Amelia.
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