Death does not come on swift wings. Lucille will deny it any peculiar sweetness or heavenly, exquisite radiance.

As much as she carries that flame of hatred, for her past and many other affairs… her home is her own, and Thomas's home. They are monstrous and red, much like the thick, viscous clay gushing underneath the floorboards.

Edith is a breathtaking, golden purity, with her bustles and ribboned carriage, with her lovely, coiled hair.

Oh, how she longs to carve out those pretty, pretty brown eyes.

Lucille would dangle them between bloody, slickened fingers and pop one gently into her mouth, as if it were a peeled grape.

Until then, she remains an ever-gracious host, attending to Edith's company while they're alone in the manor, humoring Edith's overly pleasant nature. Lucille carries in a silvered, freshly polished platter, setting it down at a smaller table in front of Edith. The other woman barely notices her, staring absently into the fireplace. Edith's golden curls spilling down her shoulders and her face, over her buttoned, lace-embroidered nightgown.

"My dear Edith…" Lucille speaks up, gazing over her patiently, taking up the pot of tea with both hands. She pours a single cup, for Edith, waiting expectantly. "You must eat something. Drink something, at the very least…"

Edith's delicate, pale hands curl together on her lap.

"Thank you, I will," she whispers, but does not move an inch towards Lucille's tea or the plate of biscuits.

Lucille continues to watch her in silence, gritting her teeth behind closed, frowning lips. That flame rises, deep inside Lucille's breast. It took weeks to procure the needed ingredients for this tea…

"Edith… …"

The other woman gasps softly, dumbstruck. Lucille's cold and equally pale fingers wrap around her chin, jerking Edith's face towards hers. Lucille's expression arranges into something more neutral and stern.

"As my brother is not present at this time… I am not above forcing you to be attended after. If not for your health, then for Thomas's peace of mind of which we share." Lucille reaches with her empty hand for the finely painted cup and its saucer. Her fingers loosen their rigid, punishing grip on Edith, finally slipping away. Lucille offers a tiny, mindful smile down on her, until the other woman relaxes and smiles apologetically. She strokes Edith's powdered, rosy cheek affectionately. "Please… do drink up."

Edith timidly pulls the cup towards herself, raising it to her lips and sipping.

Before she can lower it, Lucille gracefully places a hand under the cup's bottom, tilting more into Edith's opened, pink lips, reveling in the gurgling, choking noise beforehand.

"That's it, that's it now," she murmurs encouragingly, until every last drop is consumed.

Lucille observes the rosy color already draining out of Edith's features, as the other woman pants and whines.

"What's the matter now, my dear?"

"I…" Edith winces, her fingertips shaking as she touches her brow. "My head… feels…"

Yes, of course, that's the first thing to be muddled. Lucille shushes her. "Lie back, yes," she says understandingly, helping Edith. "You've exhausted yourself… you've been so kind and helpful without instruction…"

A glimmer of tears in pretty, pretty eyes.

"Is that why you hate me?" Edith asks, staring imploringly.

Lucille tuts, as if bothering with a small and frail child. She cups her palms lovingly to Lucille's greying, sweat-beading face. "You do not deserve my hatred, Edith. Don't be silly."

You do not deserve anything at all.

The panting increases, as if Edith's breathing draws out and shortens. Lucille watches in growing, unconcealed amusement as the other woman squirms and tosses her head back, her knees clamping together.

"Is something the matter? Have you soiled yourself?"

Lucille bends slightly, prying Edith's legs apart. Her fingers searches under the white nightgown, until she feels Edith's mound thick with coarse, curly hair. It's a private warmth that is not meant for Lucille, but she has learned to take what she desires. Edith lurches to get away, at first, before a still-smiling Lucille delivers a hard, striking blow across Edith's face. A quiet and fretful weeping overtakes her.

Ignoring it, Lucille pushes her forefinger experimentally into Edith's dampness.

"Aah, you are filthy…" she whispers, uncurling another finger and thrusting within it, as the muscles and warmth swallow her up.

Edith is, without a doubt, a lovely thing, moaning and receptive to the slightest touch.

It's a shame to poison her—well, to poison her with a larger than expected dosage. Lucille pulls open Edith's nightgown with her left hand, nearly ripping the buttons. Once she's exposed her, Lucille presses her lips eagerly to Edith's nipple, and then presses with her teeth, biting down furiously. It earns herself another moaning cry.

Blood, resembling the clay, pools out, dribbling onto Edith's skin.

Lucille flattens her tongue, dragging up the reddened path with her own happy moan, smearing her mouth and chin. She pries open Edith's lips, spitting the mixture of drool and Edith's own precious blood back inside her.

Her two fingers spread Edith's purity open further, despite the clenching, and thrust in deeper. It's a heartbeat quivering between Edith's thighs, like a dying butterfly. How very fitting.

Death does not come at all, except in a soft, murmurous breath, trembling, slow.