Dark Ascension by M. L. Brennan

Dark Ascension by M. L. Brennan

Author:M. L. Brennan [Brennan, M. L.]
Language: eng
Format: epub
Tags: Fiction, Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Published: 2015-08-04T07:00:00+00:00

Chapter Six

The next day, I sat and ate breakfast with Chivalry and Prudence. The cook had been one of the fatalities in my mother’s bedroom, and the new cook was her niece, who had been her aunt’s assistant for almost twenty years. I was disturbed to realize, as I ate, that I could discern no difference in the taste of the food whatsoever. Had I not been told about the change, then my only hint that a new administration was in place in the mansion’s kitchen would’ve been that a vegetarian quiche had been served alongside the rest of the dishes, with zero fanfare, something that never would’ve occurred while my mother was writing the menus and waiting for my “experiment” in vegetarianism to come to an end.

“Stop pouting, Fortitude,” Prudence snapped at me.

“I’m not pouting,” I defended.

My sister pointed her parfait spoon at me. “You’re definitely pouting.”

“You’re sulking a bit,” Chivalry, the traitor, noted. “Just admit that Mother knew what she was doing when she put together her will. If you’d been given immediate access to your inheritance, you would’ve given the whole thing to Doctors Without Borders or something like that just to make a point.”

“And what a tragedy that would’ve been, if a worthy and selfless cause suddenly benefited from millions of dollars,” I said. My siblings shook their heads, horrified at the thought. Across the table, Simone gave me a sympathetic smile. Slightly bolstered, I continued. “Don’t think that I’m going to feel any differently when the trust finally matures.”

“I trust in Mother’s wisdom, little brother,” Chivalry said, putting another forkful of omelet in his mouth and eyeing the plate of bacon assessingly, clearly wondering if he was up for a second helping. Wordlessly, Simone reached out and put two more pieces on each of their plates, and they shared a smile. Chivalry turned his attention back to me. “Holding the trust back until you’re fifty will give you time to mature, to attain new thoughtfulness—”

“To conform to your values rather than mine?”

Prudence snorted heavily. “Mother knew what she was doing. You can play human all you want now, when you see no visible differences between yourself and your peers. Just wait until you’re fifty, brother, and all the people you went to college with are now checking in with their doctors about their cholesterol and worrying about how they’re going to pay for their children’s educations, and you still look exactly as you do today.” A somewhat smug look slid across her face. “Perhaps then you’ll be a bit more willing to embrace who, and what, you are.”

“And in the meantime,” Chivalry pointed out, “you are being given a perfectly appropriate allowance, which you are more than free to hand over to worthy causes at the beginning of every month, if that’s what you feel is best.”

“A monthly allowance that just happens to be in the exact amount as my half of the apartment rent,” I noted. “How amazingly convenient.”

“The amount will go up when you turn thirty.


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