Deception. Desire. Danger.
Deception: Walter Willis hoards a family secret that will change the lives of Charles and Grace.
Desire: When Charles Gordon hires Grace Smith he sees a girl in need. Then she turns out to be a woman of many talents and desire blooms.
Danger: Grace led a precarious life until she met Charles and just when everything seems to be going smoothly all is threatened by betrayal and the cultural war that tears the great city apart.
Grace reached the plumbing establishment, spared a look for the imposing new building, took a deep breath, and opened the door on the side of the building as Mr. Willis had instructed. Climbing the flight of stairs she noticed they were scrupulously clean unlike the ones where she lived. At the top she entered a large room where a stout gray-haired woman in a long black skirt and white blouse looked up from a counter. She frowned at Grace and said, "Do you have an appointment?"
"I have an appointment with Mr. Gordon."
The woman marched over to Grace and glared down at her. "Unlikely."
Grace stood her ground though the woman was several inches taller and many pounds heavier. She took the card sheet of heavy linen stationery from her reticule and handed it to the woman.
"Mr. Gordon will be pleased to see Miss Smith at the Gordon Plumbing Establishment at ten o'clock tomorrow. Enter the side door and go up the stairs," the woman read to a background of footsteps running up the stairs.
A tall man with broad shoulders appeared in the doorway. His light brown hair cut short in the current fashion had an errant lock that dipped over his forehead. He wore a black suit and white shirt with a black string tie in a bow around his collar. He took off his hat and pitched it toward the tree where a large woman's hat and a black cloak hung. Then he walked across the room to join the two women. "Miss Smith?" he asked, his voice rich and warm like a good cup of coffee on a cold morning.
She looked up about a foot into his green eyes and said, "Yes, sir. Grace Smith."