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...even as she lifted her hands from her lap, over the child's face spread a calculating look that was thoroughly unnerving, for it was so like Jane. "Did you know my mother?" she asked, her eyes veering away.

Geneva had a sickening sensation that Jane was reaching out from the grave. "Not really. I met her once," she said.

Elizabeth grew more alert. "Where?"

"Here at a dinner party." She thought of Jane's tidy figure in a pink chemise and silver slave bracelets; her cold blue eyes and cruel mouth set in a pale, flat complexion. The saucy way she sat with feet tucked under her on the sofa in the drawing room-- the most formal chamber in the house.

A considerable pause. A frown of concentration. "Then, was this before she married my father?" Elizabeth asked slowly.

"Yes. Why?"

Another pause. "So you knew my father before he married my mother."

"Yes," Geneva said. She would have thought this obvious, given that Emelye was Tony's child with her, and was several months older than Elizabeth. Then she realized it would be far beyond the ability of a child less than eight years old to piece that sort of information together.

Elizabeth pressed her bangs again, ran her tongue over her lips. Still avoiding looking at Geneva, she asked, "Was my mother...was she nice then?"