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Airing the Dirty Laundry in Public

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Bonham walked into the library, and intoned. "Your mother is here, Milord." 

Dorian looked up from the papier-mâché model of the Louvre he was fiddling with, and drew in a deep breath. "Oh god." 

"We weren't quite prepared--but I sent James to greet her, so we have some time. He's always excellent at stalling." 

"Good move, more or less. James will have her in a foul mood."

"With respect, Milord, Lady Gloria is always in a foul mood." 

"True." Dorian shrugged and stowed the model of the Louvre into a cabinet. He was obviously not thinking very clearly, since he locked it. He barely had time to shrug his hair free of the silk scarf pulling it back into a loose ponytail that the Dowager Lady Gloria  marched  into the room.

"Good morning, Mother." 

She didn't acknowledge Dorian's greeting. Her face was indeed the shade of puce usually resulting from A Protracted Interaction with James. She raised a finger and pointed it at Dorian. 

"First of all, you have to get rid of that hideous creature. He tried to sell me some gin." 

Dorian paled: no matter how strained their relations were, he wouldn't wish his mother -- anyone really -- to sample James's gin. He opened his mouth to warn her, but she cut in: "Most importantly. It's a private matter. No airing the dirty laundry in public." 


"I know what you did. You enabled those horrid women who have been spreading gossip and slander about our family. And posting it on the Internet. This behaviour shall cease NOW." 

"Of course, Mother." Dorian smiled. Kinda. "But while I perform this easy and entirely doable task, for which you really put me in a good mood, maybe you want to sit down and have some gin after all?"