A/N: Okay, so I hardly ever write author's notes that say anything beyond "oh, I wrote this because blah blah blah." But, tonight, I decided to do something more. I've had my account on here for about...four years, I think. And when I first started out, I honestly never expected anyone to ready anything I wrote. I was young and a novice and half the writer I am now. I've grown and I've written everything—novels, poems, lyrics, and fanfiction has become this outlet of creativity that allows me to experiment with different genres and themes stress-free. I don't think people understand sometimes how stressful writing original work is. Because that is the work I'm going to make money off. This is my stress-relief. This is my practice, and the fact that people read my work and like it. I write things that make people uncomfortable a lot of the time, I'm not even going to lie, and you guys like it. You put up with my abnormal creativity, and I love ya'll for it. Every person who reads, reviews, favorites my work—thank you. Seriously. It means so much. I'm having so much fun writing in any form, and just knowing that what makes me happy is entertaining other people. I just wanted you all to know that whenever I get an email about a story, it makes my day. And you know, I promise to be a little more personal with my author's notes, and so yeah. I love you all. :)

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My head is lead, I don't ever want to go to bed
Your hair is on fire
You snuff the blaze, turn to vapor, then you float away

Brand New||Bed

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Chapter Three

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Sleeping late was an indulgence only the rich could partake in.

Hattie's eyes opened after the sun had been up for hours, her limbs stiff and a heavy weight on her thoughts. She turned over, her gaze immediately resting upon Ella. Her little porcelain beauty. Smiling drowsily, she leaned in and planted a kiss on the doll's mouth.

Cold, so cold.

She couldn't help but moan—whimpering when flashes of that living, breathing, blood-flowing-in-her-veins Ella flashed before her eyes. Her nails dug into the sheets, mouth becoming a frenzied mess as she struggled to contain herself. Heat washed over her again In waves—crashing waves of desire and shame.

The shame was strongest of all.

Breathing in deeply, Hattie found herself wantonly grinding against her sheets, and a dry sob escaped her lips. She sagged down onto the mattress, tears stinging her eyes. She pulled Ella into her arms, clinging to her precious doll. She buried her face in the velveteen fabric of her dress, nails clawing at it—digging into it and wanting so badly to just rip it off.

"I'm so sorry."

She didn't know why she was apologizing—maybe it was to Ella, maybe it was to herself. She didn't know, and she didn't think she would ever know. A sigh and a half-hearted smile, she released Ella, kissing the doll's cheek before sitting up. She ran shaking fingers through tangled hair, chest aching with every breath.

"She looks just like you," she said, speaking to the doll. Oh, she loved her little doll. She loved coming home and curling up in bed with her. She loved touching her. She loved kissing her. She loved that she wasn't real-

"I slept terribly last night," she drawled, lazily tracing her fingertips along Ella's leg.

"That girl. She kept popping up in my dreams, dear. It was just awful. Deplorable."

Hattie shook her head, drawing her knees up to her chest.

"She was so dismissive. I was being so nice, going to check on her when she ran out crying. I thought, what a poor little thing!"

Hattie swore Ella was listening.

Biting her lip, Hattie barely managed the strength to slip out of bed. Her legs felt gelatinous, and she feared they would give at any second, sending her spiraling down onto the floor. There, she would curl up into a useless heap of tangled limbs. She would stay there, and hope Ella would call for help.

She stumbled about her room, coming to a stop at her vanity mirror. Her eyes were bloodshot—hair a mass of curls and her lips were chapped, dry blood clinging to the pink skin. She licked them, tongue tracing carefully along—it stung, and she bit down hard on her bottom lip, jerking her hips fighting the urge to-

Hattie groaned, grabbing her robe from the back of a chair. She pulled it tight around her, and her thoughts drifted back to the breathing Ella. She wondered where she lived. She wondered if she could visit, even just once.

"Good morning, dear."

Her mother's voice pierced through her reverie, and she looked up, smiling feebly and sitting down at the breakfast table.

"How did you sleep?"

Her mother touched her shoulder, looking warmly down at her. Hattie could only shrug her shoulders, the thought of visiting Ella having rendered her incapable of any other thought process of goal.

"Mama?"

Her voice was quiet, and she stared down at her hands. She had never been so...reserved. Her entire life, she had oozed confidence, she had taken what she wanted without hesitation, but now.

She felt crippling sensations of uncertainty that threatened to break her to pieces.

"Yes, love?"

"...where is Sir Peter's manor?"