The Medium (Chapter 2, page 1 of 16)


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"I don't think your maid will last long," Jacob said as the drawing room door closed on Celia guiding a trembling Bella down the hall.

I waited until the door was completely shut and Bella's terrified mutterings had faded before I spoke. "I hope she's already prepared supper." It sounded uncaring but I'd been in this situation before and it was very trying. As our only maid, Bella worked long, hard hours. I appreciated that enough to know I didn't want to take on her chores. "Good maids are difficult to find, particularly ones not afraid of the supernatural." Or ones we could afford.

"Have you tried the North London School for Domestic Service in Clerkenwell?" He returned the picture frame to the mantelpiece and remained standing. "They train suitable orphans in all aspects of domestic service and help them find employment by the age of sixteen or so. We've hired many of our servants from there."

"We?"

"Ghosts." I must have had an odd look on my face because he snorted softly which I think was meant to be a laugh. "Joke," he said without even a twitch of his lips. "I meant my family. The one I had before I died."

"Oh." I swallowed. So he came from a family wealthy enough to afford servants, plural. I wanted to ask more about his life but it didn't seem like the right time. It also wasn't the right time to ask about his death, although I'm not sure there ever is an appropriate time to enquire about that. It feels a little like prying into one's private affairs.

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